Many people’s mental health has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic. However, developing countries like Nepal face distinct challenges in terms of socioeconomic and mental well-being. In light of this, a youth-led organization in Nepal has been working to create a place for Nepali and international youths to discuss the issue.
The second session of the “Youth Virtual Exchange on COVID Experience” series was held on July 5 by Youth Council in Action for Nation (YOUTH CAN), a non-profit youth organization. With UNDP’s help, the series brings together like-minded young people from Nepal and Thailand. The series’ second of five sessions focused on mental health and wellbeing.
Ruslina Muleng, creator of Peace of Art, an organization that promotes cooking as a kind of rehabilitation, and Angel Lama, Miss Pink Nepal 2018, were the speakers for the event. Ayshanie Labe, UNDP Nepal’s Resident Representative, and Renaud Meyer, UNDP Thailand’s Resident Representative, offered special remarks to everyone in the room.
Meyer praised the effort made to include Thai and Nepalese youngsters in the discussion. He underlined the significance of societal unity, particularly among youths, in dealing with a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muleng discussed the advantages of culinary arts in terms of reducing stress and anxiety. “The goal of my project is to bring people together, either physically or electronically, to cook and enjoy their time together while also exchanging ideas,” she explained.
Miss Pink Nepal 2018, Lama, praised the government for introducing its Mental Health Policy 2073 in accordance with the constitution, and expressed her optimism for its efficient execution by prioritizing and scaling up mental health-related initiatives.
Both speakers held discussions with audience members about ways to cope with stress and anxiety when socially isolated. During the event, youngsters from Nepal and Thailand took part in cultural quizzes about their respective countries and the lifestyles of their young people.
Labe, UNDP Nepal’s Resident Representative, closed the event by thanking everyone who worked to make the meetings possible, especially on such a sensitive topic as mental health and wellbeing.
She also encouraged everyone involved to attempt to make people’s lives easier in their communities by participating in service activities, no matter how small.
“Every minute that passes, someone somewhere in the world takes their own life,” she remarked. “It is more vital than ever to look after one’s mental health and the mental health of those around us.”