Teens’ Cafe – Providing a Safe Space for Adolescents

A study titled ‘Rapid Systematic Review: The Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness on the Mental
Health of Children and Adolescents in the Context of COVID19’ found that due to the social isolation (as a measure to contain COVID-19 transmission), young people were as much as 3 times more likely to
develop depression in the future with its impact on mental health expected to last up to 9 years later.
The investigators pointed out that there will be a spike in the young people suffering from or seeking
help for mental health issues.

So a safe space for the teenagers were provided, where they got to explore and express their identity through activities such as poems, stories, craftwork, photographs and paintings. Thereby, empowering them to find solutions for themselves organically through capacity building training. It was a carefully crafted 8 days long sessions, where we were seeking to empower these adolescent minds to speak up for themselves and those around them. The storytelling sessions were intended to activate the listener’s unconscious resources. These sessions were meant to ignite right questions or a perspective which they might not have thought of.

Sessions engaging teenagers expressing their own stories lead them to choices, selflove, self-exploration, gender issues, environment and career choices. The sessions built an ambience where the attendees shared their stories or issues in an organic process by building trust and nurturing them with right inspirations or conversations. We invited guest speakers in these sessions. There was a session dedicated solely to encourage coping strategies among adolescent.

Watch the Teens’ Cafe video here.

by Minket Lepcha, Nepal Local Volunteer

Willyn CarrascalTeens’ Cafe – Providing a Safe Space for Adolescents