Delegate: Mr. Jonne Juntura
33. Mr. Juntura (Finland), speaking as a youth delegate, referred to his personal experience of anxiety, depression and mental illness. He said that, even in stable societies, less than half of the people who needed mental health services received the treatment they required. As youth made up a large part of that population, as well as a majority of the world population as a whole, there was an urgent need to pay attention to youth mental health. Sustainable peace could be achieved only through inclusiveness and meaningful participation of youth, women and civil society. Youth engagement also played an important role in countering violent extremist narratives and in conflict prevention.
34. Nevertheless, barriers to access to mental health services, powerful stigmas and discriminatory policies all posed obstacles, especially to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, persons with disabilities, migrants [*7*] and the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and other persons. Action was needed to ensure their enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and to build socially cohesive communities.
35. An international mechanism for young peoples’ rights should be established, and a holistic approach to ensuring the enjoyment of such rights should be adopted. The attitude that mental illness was a personal failure should change; the failure actually lay in societal responses to mental and brain disorders.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/73/SR.2