When little hands work together, the possibilities are endless

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Naida Salković, a fourth-year medical student at Bosnia and Herzegovina’s University of Tuzla. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Considering that world mental health day is approaching, I consider how I can make my contribution in resolving this urgent global issue. As an active member of the community, through a number of different Non-Governmental Organizations, I try to raise awareness about mental health issues and the importance of preserving it, as well as remove the taboo on the topic. However, I am aware that for major changes, the state Government must get involved and help.

The main focus of policies should be geared toward the most vulnerable members of our society since primary prevention of mental disorders starts in the early years and protection of a stable upbringing and the potential for optimal development. It is simpler for society to create solid foundations for stability, in the true sense of the word, not just by introducing new standards for educational institutions, but also by assisting parents in raising children, enabling a good health system, and fostering a vibrant social life. In order to be able to ensure all of the above, the most important thing is that there are sufficient finances, but also good and educated staff to monitor the results, but also to adjust the strategies in case it is necessary.

Each strategy/policy has a series of planned “carrier activities” that are considered to be the most important in fulfilling a specific objective, and this is exactly where young people come to the stage. Young people can be actively involved in responsible work through NGO work, volunteer work, etc., and in this way enable the implementation of adopted policies. Engaging young people in this issue is crucial because we will be the future decision-makers, parents, academics, and healthcare professionals, and we will be the ones to determine if the future is a success or a failure.

Every initiative or workshop that lessens the stigma surrounding mental health and achieves one of the objectives of national policies is a huge step in the right direction.The goal is simple: a healthy society, and “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (World Health Organization).

In my country, it is often said that “all state laws, strategies and policies are well written, but poorly implemented”, and if this is true, it is with national policies and strategies for the preservation of mental health and prevention of suicides.

We can resolve every issue by working together and supporting one another.

About the author

Naida Salković is a fourth-year medical student at Bosnia and Herzegovina’s University of Tuzla. Naida has always been an active member of her community, whether as a volunteer at various initiatives and groups or as an organizer herself, during her studies. Naida began writing articles a year and a half ago with the objective of teaching others and providing opportunities for them to learn and improve. She is passionate about reforming education and enjoys reading books to broaden her horizons.

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