By Aabigayle McIntosh
Let’s Unpack It a youth-led mental health advocacy organization promoting good mental health and wellness across the Caribbean is partnering with the United Nationals Children Fund (UNICEF) Eastern Caribbean to launch a region-wide mental health network.
The aim is to bring together driven and passionate young advocates and leaders from various corners of the Caribbean to discuss and develop initiatives to improve child and youth mental health.
An additional aim is to represent the voice of the Caribbean youth at regional and international conferences and mobilize children and youth to prioritize mental health and wellness.
David Johnson founder of the organization explained that they have come to the realization that young people are the key stakeholders when it comes to a variety of issues and they should be given the opportunity to sit at the table and have their voices heard.
“What we are seeking to do here with UNICEF is to engage young people from 15 to 24 years old across 17 Caribbean countries and territories and have them come and discuss and put forward their recommendations as it relates to mental health advocacy and mental health option,” Johnson said.
He stated further, “We know they have the ideas; we know they have the solutions and what they need is that kind of platform where they can share these ideas and really mobilize for action,”
It is their hope that the mental health focal point network will help young people to build their capacity so they can become more vocal about issues of mental health and encourage others to become more aware.
“What we are really seeking to do is to achieve that level of action other countries have achieved,” Johnson added.
Chelsea Jordan Vice President of Let’s Unpack It pointed out that young people need to be equipped with the language and the expertise to build awareness and advocate for change.
“We felt it prudent that we are that organization to help young people be that center for a change,” Jordan said.
Persons interested in becoming a part of the initiative could do so by submitting an application and a bio form from the website bit.ly/luifocalpoints.
The deadline for submission is midnight on June 14th.