Recent territorial conflicts between Ukraine and Russia and the subsequent declaration of war in Ukraine in 2022, together with the COVID-19 pandemic that is ongoing since 2019, have significantly affected the mental health and wellbeing of the global community, especially young people, causing uncertainty and insecurity. More specifically, conflict, aggression and health crises have heightened the risk factors generally associated with poor mental health (financial insecurity, unemployment, fear) while protective factors such as social connection, employment, educational engagement and access to physical exercise or health services, fell dramatically.
The COPE project aims at addressing the negative effects of conflict and COVID-19 crisis on youth’s mental health by strengthening key protective factors for coping with war and pandemic via digitalized arts-based peer support. At the same time, its goal is to empower youth workers through the provision of useful and effective tools and strategies to support young people to cope with stress and anxiety, taking advantage of the opportunities that new technologies offer. Young participants will be provided with educational tools and opportunities that allow them to feel included and able to improve their mental health through hybrid self-directed skills training with their peers under the guidance of youth professionals.
This will be achieved by:
- The identification of the concrete psychosocial challenges of youth during the post covid-19 period and the relevant best practices on psychosocial support programs for youth through extensive desk and field research.
- The design and development of a digital platform based on heritage-led activities for peer-to-peer support under the guidance of youth workers, according to the identified needs.
- The delivery of capacity building trainings for youth workers and pilot implementation of the peer-to-peer support training scheme with young learners.
- Awareness raising on the COVID-19 repercussions on young people’s mental health and promotion of digital learning.
During its 24-month lifetime, COPE will directly and indirectly positively impact:
- At least 60 youth professionals and 75 young people participating in the focus groups that will be conducted in the partner countries.
- At least 60 youth professionals receiving capacity building training on peer-to-peer tutoring methodology.
- At least 90 young people receiving tutoring in the peer-to-peer training.
COPE at a glance:
- 5 national reports on the mental health issues of disadvantaged youth and the needed skills of youth workers to respond to those challenges.
- 1 transnational needs analysis report
- 5 capacity building training programs for youth workers
- 1 online platform
- 5 pilot trials of the digital learning platform
- 5 multiplier/dissemination events