SCEFI Emblematic Stories on Building Inclusive and Empowered Communities
Youth suicides and stigma against people with mental illnesses are two serious health-related problems in Fiji. Mental health survivors are a marginalized and vulnerable group, unable to raise their voices against the discrimination and violence they face. Youth suicide rates in Pacific Island countries are among the highest in the world and Fiji is no exception.
Youth Champs for Mental Health (YC4MH) is a volunteer youth-based organisation which designs and delivers awareness raising, education and advocacy campaigns to improve the conditions facing survivors of mental illness, and raise awareness on youth suicide. In 2014, assistance from UNDP’s Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) enabled YC4MH to mount nation-wide initiatives that included two workshops on creating mental health awareness, and a “travelling” advocacy campaign where its volunteers reached remote rural areas to create safe spaces for discussion and create awareness on youth suicide.