The pressure is on

By Natalia PiknaLex Kleren

Young people are confronted with mounting pressure to accomplish great things at a younger and younger age. Our contemporary obsession with achievement, coupled with contemporary crises, is starting to take its toll on the mental health of today’s youth. What happened to just being a kid?

De Jugendrot (National Youth Council of Luxembourg) has lined up some telling statistics in its brochure Voices of youth which summarises "the various efforts undertaken in the context of the Jugenddialog (Youth Dialogue) and which informed the new Youth Pact" published in June of this year by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth. Young people of all backgrounds were consulted to establish this document, which will be used as a source for statistics throughout this article. The "Jugendpakt" or Youth Pact, sets out goals for the next three years in terms of policies and actions in favour of the youth.

The Youth Pact 2022–2025 is built around three main goals, the first and second being to promote well-being at school and within youth structures and socio-educational activities, and the third is to emphasise giving a voice to young people and to increase contacts and networks amongst partners. To a large extent, mental health is at the forefront of the minds of policymakers as well as the young, some 66 per cent of the latter affirming that mental health worries an important part of the young population. The goals set out in the Youth Pact indeed appear as important targets, but what does the current situation look like for students? 

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