"Mental Health prevention in schools" - Progetto Itaca - € 30,000
The UniCredit Foundation supported the "Mental Health prevention in schools" project due to its worthy contribution to preventing mental health disorders in adolescents
The World Health Organization found that 75% of people who develop a mental health disorder experienced the first symptoms between the age of 15 and 24. These years of adolescence and early youth are the best time to identify and treat such disorders in a timely way. The "Mental Health Prevention in Schools" project was launched by the Progetto Itaca in 2001 and offers higher education institutions information and awarenessraising meetings on mental health, with training sessions held by psychiatrists from the mental health services. The aim of the project is to provide scientific information on mental health disorders.
The meetings focus on the risk factors, symptoms and signs of mental health issues and the ways to ask for and receive help. They aim to counteract the large amount of misinformation about psychiatric disorders in the very places where it is possible to directly provide correct and up-to-date information to adolescents and the people who are closest to them, primarily teachers and parents. The UniCredit Foundation has supported Progetto Itaca for the development of the initiative in three regions, Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna.
The Progetto Itaca Foundation coordinated the launch of the project in the cities of Turin, Brescia and Bologna, where the Progetto Itaca Associations are at a different level of development. Since spring 2020, due to the Covid 19 pandemic emergency situation and distancing measures that have made in-person meetings in schools impossible, the project's contact and training meetings have been carried out remotely, meaning that an even greater number of adolescents have been reached. It has therefore been decided that even when it is possible to carry out in-person meetings in classrooms, it will also be possible to continue them remotely. The development of the project in Turin and start-up in Bologna and Brescia will allow double the number of teenagers to be assisted in 2021, reaching around 10,000 in Italy.
The Partner - Progetto Itaca
The Progetto Itaca Volunteer Association was founded in Milan in 1999, to promote information, prevention, support and rehabilitation programs aimed at people suffering from mental health disorders and provide assistance to their families. In 2012, it established the Progetto Itaca Foundation to develop its institutional purposes throughout Italy. Today, Progetto Itaca has 15 locations across the country.