EARLY Project Unveiled: A comprehensive effort to address youth mental health issues

(This page is currently only available in english. Please come back for the Albanian version.)

EARLY Project Unveiled: A comprehensive effort to address youth mental health issues

To tackle the pressing issue of mental health among young people, the European Union-funded EARLY project has been launched.

With a consortium of 19 partners from 14 countries, the EARLY project represents a collaborative effort to address the critical issue of youth mental health and seeks to alleviate the burden of non-communicable diseases, with a specific focus on mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress disorders, and substance use disorders in youth.

Partners came together in the period 11th and 12th of January for the kick-off meeting of the EARLY project at Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences.

Over the next four years, a comprehensive study is to be carried out on the extent to which mental illnesses can be recognized in youth. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jutta Lindert from the Department of Social Work and Health, Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences the consortium sets out to achieve its mission through a comprehensive approach that encompasses research, intervention, and collaboration. One of its key strategies involves the development of a versatile exposure matrix, designed to adapt to emerging risks and provide a deeper understanding of the factors influencing youth mental health.

Furthermore, the project aims to gain insights into the perceptions of youth, parents, and stakeholders through qualitative interviews, with the goal of incorporating diverse perspectives into its initiatives. By gathering representative, multinational data on youth mental health, the project aims to lay the groundwork for evidence-based interventions that can effectively promote mental well-being and prevent mental health conditions among young people.

Notably, the EARLY project is characterized by its mixed methods study, which combines both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. This approach will enable the project to review existing measures of youth mental health, assess various exposure factors, and conduct a cross-sectional survey to establish baseline data for a multicomponent pilot intervention in five selected countries.

In addition to its research endeavours, the EARLY project seeks to evaluate country preparedness for implementing youth mental health interventions and map existing services for youth, with the ultimate goal of providing robust data on youth mental health in the European region and designing evidence-based interventions.

The launch of the EARLY project marks a significant step forward in addressing the complex challenges surrounding youth mental health, by leveraging a multidisciplinary approach and fostering international collaboration in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases, particularly mental health conditions, in young people.