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Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mental illness among children and young people is a global problem, relevant to all of us. As founder of Mentor International, I consider it an honour to raise this issue together with the Choice Foundation here in the Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020.
More than 25 years ago, I founded Mentor International together with members of the World Health Organization. Our mission was to empower young people while preventing risky behaviours.
Today, that mission is just as important as it was in 1994. Modern science and studies show that both the tolerance and the use of drugs are increasing; an alarming development.
Both Mentor International and the Choice Foundation work with preventive measures to support young people. Mentor, by running mentoring programs all over the world. Choice, by reaching out to schoolchildren to prevent mental illness, suicide, and substance abuse.
During this Mental Health Week, we will share the importance of early intervention to support children and young people to better health and a good start in life.
Preventive and health-promoting interventions will benefit young people today – and the whole society in the future.
I hope that this Mental Health Week will be an incubator for change. And I thank you all for joining us at this important summit.