Where are we going ?!

What exciting have we done again in a few months? Good and very relevant question!


In August, Piret Jeedas from MTÜ Ruumiloomine went to talk to us about inclusive management. We started by learning what this involvement is all about, but we also learned in the group the importance of the first moment and moving to a common wave. Perhaps one of the most important places to learn was the art of listening, or how to understand another person and listen deeply. Piret made us think about how much we often have to say, but how little we sometimes want to listen to others. And the same goes for asking questions - the more we ask open-ended, exploratory and forward-looking questions, the more likely we are to get a meaningful answer and convey the other party's ideas nicely.

What we can take from this is that we are all equal and the experience and opinion of all of us actually matters the same. We want to create more opportunities for co-creation and dialogue; we want all members to have the courage to pass on the message of our organization and no one feels that they are not involved in passing on that message. Here it is also appropriate to present the grain of wisdom that we received from the training:

"If it concerns us, it should not be done without us" - Tim Merry

Thanks to Piret for this interesting and eye-opening training!

                     And also a picture of our thoughts in the inclusive management training!

Development plan

We have been working on the development plan since April. We have set great focuses and milestones to achieve these focuses, but we have also been planning our activities for the next five years every month. How did we get there you ask? Still hard work and effort!

During June, July and August, we met with partners, gathering input from our members as well as other stakeholders (eg teachers, mental health professionals). We tried to understand how we are seen and what role ENVTL should play in society. We have met DD Stratlab several times on countless computers, under whose authority we have formulated four focuses that we will pursue in the organization for the next five years:

     Strategic implementation and outreach of expertise. Youth-to-youth outreach (both in the form of lectures on mental health in general and the sharing of experience stories more narrowly) is one of the main areas of activity for us. We want Estonian young people to be aware of the problems of mental health, but even more so of their prevention and how they can be successfully overcome. To do this, we take it and develop a plan on how to do it all strategically!

        Purposeful action. We will have many extremely interesting offers; no wonder then that our focus from time to time wants to go! So we have set ourselves the goal of making a little more specific action plans each year so that we can better coordinate our resources into those activities that are useful and necessary for our organization.

        Development of advocacy capacity. So far, we have been a little quieter in the field of advocacy, but we want to develop this capability. We want to have a say in shaping mental health policy and stand up for the rights and views of young people.

 Developing organizational culture. As the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement is also a community for young people, we also want to maintain and improve it. We want the youth movement to be a place to make friends and share thoughts and feelings about mental health and related worries and joys.

The Active Citizens' Fund has helped us to implement inclusive management training and the development plan. Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement has received funding for the project “Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement”.

"Together greenstrong and inclusive For Europe. "


In August we had a workshop on the subject of inclusive management. We learned to value active listening and exploratory questioning. We also now know about the importance of getting in the right headspace / mindset through a ritual at the beginning of our meeting. 

The past few months have been very busy as we've been compiling a development plan for the next five years. Our 4 main goals for the following years are: (1) to strategically implement our youngsters who talk about their own experiences and about mental health related subjects in general; (2) acting goal-based; (3) developing the capacity of advocacy; and (4) developing the inner culture of the organization. To achieve all four goals, we will compile a plan of action at the beginning of each calendar year and mark specific actions that support the bigger goals.

“Working together for a greencompetitive and inclusive Europe ”



September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

He either sleeps all the time or doesn't sleep at all. Eats either all the time or doesn't eat barrels at all. All the exciting activities done together offer him no joy anymore. He doesn't talk to us, he doesn't go home. And while he speaks, his story is to hear jokes about suicide; but also more serious reflections on how the world would be better or life easier if it were not. And then suddenly he's gone. 

The character in this story has no age. She doesn't have sex either. Or socio-economic status. He is someone who performs almost 15 pieces for every 100,000 people in Estonia. In 2019, a total of 194 people committed suicide in Estonia. That's 194 lives lost unnecessarily. That's 194 people left behind by parents, stepchildren, children, spouses or friends. While nearly 60 people are affected by each suicide, it makes a total of 11,640 people in Estonia who had to mourn a loved one who lost a suicide. Mental health disorders, self-harm and suicide are not a problem for the "new" or "modern" generation. Estonian suicide statistics show that most suicides are committed among the elderly.

He says he can't live anymore. My soul is busy. What should I say? The truth. I have to say he's important to me. That I help him because I care about him. How can I help her? I have to ask directly. He says he can't catch it. My soul is closed again. I would like to hug him and I would like to shout and at the same time I do not understand him. 

We don't have to feel abdominal pain ourselves to believe a friend if he claims to feel it. But why do we tend to doubt when someone says they feel mentally tired? We do not need to understand another person to be able to listen, encourage and affirm. We don't need to understand another person to help find a solution. We do not need to understand another person to show kindness and kindness to him. Often, just being there is enough. It is often enough to hug, listen or even sit in silence. And it helps the most when we encourage you to seek professional help. And it helps if we stigmatize or suggest someone to sum up. Instead, we are looking at ways to see other solutions to the situation. 

When it comes to human lives, it is no longer a question of anyone's political views or decisions. Everyone has time and place to act here - to take responsibility for their words and actions. Promoting services and programs in the education and social system alone is not enough. Change must be transnational in order to have an impact. We need to start changing our attitudes, stigmas and behavior to save those who need it. Coping mechanisms can be studied at school through various programs (eg VEPA, KiVa), but we still learn and teach humanity from each other.

The stories of loved ones who lost their suicide can be read in more detail in the article published last year “Why did you do that? People who go to free death leave pain and confusion behind”. 


If you have concerns about your own or someone close to you's mental health, feel free to contact the counselors of ( or ( They offer help in case of mental health problems both by e-mail (both and and by video call (form 'Come to counseling' from the main case page).

More help options (all available 24/7):

- It is also possible to get support from the crisis helpline 1247 with mental health concerns, as well as in the chat on the page

- In case of mental or physical violence or suspicion thereof, it is also worth writing a chat on page or calling 116 006

- number 116 111 and the chat on the page are also helpful in case of different kinds of worries, be it family relationships, loved ones, mental health or other aspects.

ACE Category

What's new? // What & #039; s been new?

[Short summary in ENG below]

June was very busy and important in terms of the development of the ENVTL. In the first half of the month, media training took place, but in the second half we were able to spend the whole day discussing our vision, missions and strategy to reach them. The following is an overview of what happened at these two meetings.

Media training

Mental health issues have become more and more popular, and we have also tried to speak out in the media and on the Internet and share our thoughts and recommendations. However, the more widely our activities have spread and the membership has started to grow, the more we find that there is a lack of basic knowledge in the field of communication with the media.

Thus, on June 9, the first training series on media communication took place in the ENVTL Active Citizens' Foundation. We recruited the wonderful UT journalism lecturer Signe Ivaski as a trainer.

Some of the main thoughts that came out of the training:

  • When giving interviews, it is only worth answering the question - there is no need to answer more broadly than has been asked!
  • You should always think about which message I am going to give a presentation / give an interview / write an article and then keep the focus on the message. There should be no more than three messages in focus at a time!
  • People don't read the corrected news, so it's important to make sure it's what we said before you publish the story!

The first place we were able to use what we learned was a mini-campaign on eating disorders. To do this, we created a publishing plan and sought out several professionals and journalists who might want to work with us. The results of the work can be seen both on our blog and on the public wall of Facebook. In any case, our message was hopefully clear: the health behavior of athletes needs to be addressed and their physical and mental health taken seriously;.

Blog posts created as part of the media campaign:

  1. "Athlete's mental health is as important as physical" is here.
  2. "The risks of aesthetic sports can also be mitigated" here.
  3. "If you notice, talk" is located here.

The author of the mini-campaign on eating disorders is Merle Purre, the leader of the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement. The stories were shared by the young people of ENVTL and Ailen Suurtee, a clinical psychologist and counselor and trainer, gave her comment.


The first meeting to draw up a development plan

On June 16, the group met with our leaders to start thinking and quietly put together a five-year development plan. The aim of the development plan is to make ENVTL more strategic and concentrated in order to ensure long-term operational capability. DD Stratlab helps us in the process of compiling the development plan, under whose guidance we have started to formulate our vision and mission and to collect opinions from our partners about our activities.

At the meeting, we formulated both our vision and goals. We held brainstorming sessions on the nature of our organization and possible developments (located at the end of the post picture 1 and picture 2 is our vision of an ideal mental health society). For the further preparation of the development plan, we mapped our main partners from whom we could start collecting input. During the summer, we meet with partners and discuss their and their own future plans and set what the partner organizations expect of us. During the summer, we will also become more familiar with reading materials that support the understanding of how mental health works. The deadline for completion of the development plan is December 2020.

Picture 1. The first group found that in an ideal world, both evidence-based approaches to mental health issues and mental health care should be based on an evidence-based approach. There would be regular mental health check-ups and all people would be valued - no one needs to feel that their experience needs to be compared to someone else's. At national level, young people would also be listened to and valued, because young people are our future.

Picture 2. The second group, like the first, thought that regular mental health checks / monitoring were needed to get to the section as early as possible if someone needed help. It was emphasized that people are more aware and follow the three "boring pillars" - that is, they get enough sleep, eat healthily and are physically active. In addition, it was pointed out that the increase in the number of specialists is in line with the need for them, and society believes that mental health disorders exist, although they are not visible to the naked eye.

The completion of the media training and development plan is supported by the Active Citizens' Fund. Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement has received funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

"Together greenstrong and inclusive For Europe. "

The month of June has been very dense for ENVTL (an acronym used to refer to the Estonian Youth Movement for Mental Health). Firstly, on the 9th of June, we had a workshop about communicating with media and how to compile a media plan. From the knowledge we gained from the workshop, we composed a minicampaing about eating disorders. Posts on the subject can be found on our blog.
On the 16th of June we had a meeting with DD Stralab to start drawing up a development plan for the next five years. The purpose of the development plan is to act strategically and ensure sustainable activities in the future.

“Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe ”


ACE Category

What will 2020 bring us?

Dear friends and acquaintances of the Estonian Youth Movement for Mental Health (ENVTL)!

We are delighted to announce that we have received support from the Active Citizens Fund this year!

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are monetarily contributing to the ACF to decrease economic and social inequality in Central Europe, Southern Europe and the Baltics. Estonian Youth Movement for Mental Health applied for the funding of the project “Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement.” (Strategic inclusion of the youth into the mental health movement).

In the course of the project, a development plan ensuing the sustainability of the organization will be prepared. As a youth organization, we do not have any set of long-term plans. Additionally, we lack the skills or knowledge to make such plans. We wish to grow our membership, but also learn how to better involve our members. We will review the vision and goals of our organization and how to aid their fulfillment.

Keeping the position of ENVTL as a representative of the youth in mind, we plan to organize four training sessions that would help our members better navigate in the complicated field of advocacy. These training sessions will provide our members with the skills to speak up in the matters of project management and communication within ENVTL, as well as with additional skills for their personal lives.

Thanks to this project, we can offer free peer support counseling for our members throughout this year. A peer support counselor is a appropriately trained expert who has personal experience in the field of psychiatric disorders and who can help support our youths throughout their journey and guide them to find professional help.

ENVTL wishes to provide a community that supports mental health, where it would be possible to attain and improve one's own skills in a safe environment.

The project will run through April 2020 to May 2021. Any questions can be directed towards Birgit Malken at

“Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. "


The concerns and needs of young people in an emergency

The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement led the 6th-13th April 2020 to conduct a survey to map the concerns and needs of young people in the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus COVID19.

The results of the survey conducted by the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement provide an insight how young people in a new situation see their livelihoods, concerns and needs in the field of mental health. Young people who are experiencing or have previously experienced mental health problems or have recently noticed a worsening condition were invited to respond to the questionnaire. 238 responses were collected during the week. 

In summary, we highlight the findings of the questionnaire major concerns, young people supporting practices and needs, which would enable them to cope better with the situation in the eyes of young people. 

Problems, concerns and sources of stress

  1. Half of the respondents perceive themselves deterioration in mental health related to an emergency situation. Relapses have been noticed by young people who have experienced depression, anxiety disorders and eating disorders, and young people have also noticed a worsening of suicidal thoughts. 
  2. The focus of mental hardship is on many young people being left alone with one's thoughts. Opportunities to communicate with friends or actively engage in sports or hobbies that have helped to cope with one's worries in the past have decreased.
  3. Accompanying distance learning increased screen time and significantly in an emergency reduced opportunities for hobbies is an important factor in the deterioration of mental and physical health in the eyes of young people. 
  4. The topics related to family and loved ones are multifaceted: 
    1. For some young people, the source of stress is the multiplied time spent in close contact with family members and the limited opportunities to be alone. This will lead to many feelings of being trapped at home, more conflict, and limited opportunities for support (from mental health professionals, friends) via video or phone calls. 
    2. many young people are left alone and feel that they have no one to share their concerns with. It is desirable to have someone to communicate with; there are certainly young people at risk who live completely alone and who are afraid to deal with serious concerns.
  5. As a major source of stress for students, there has been a sharp shift to distance learning increase in study load and the fragmentation of tasks and instructions in e-learning across platforms, making it difficult to have a comprehensive overview of responsibilities and time planning. Alongside this is a significant source of difficulty lack of a suitable learning environment or the impact of home conditions on learning.

Presumably, due to the age specificity of the sample (65% respondents aged 15-18), the responses did not reveal significant problems related to the (home) reconciliation of work and school responsibilities, as highlighted, for example, by a number of ENVTL university members in discussions. 

Supportive practices

We researched the young people from whom they have received the most support during this period. Let's get out of that important opportunities to provide support and hope to young people or which can be implemented by young people to support themselves. We have divided them into groups according to the sources of support. 

  1. Mental health professionals (especially psychologists and school psychologists) have been an important support for young people through online channels, providing counseling through video or e-mail. 
  2. Teachers and the school family can provide very important support to young people in maintaining or restoring motivation. Allowing, for example, 10 minutes of free interaction with classmates at the end of a web-based lesson reduces the feeling of isolation. Teacher feedback, encouragement, small compliments or heartfelt messages in the e-School help young people to remain positive. Interested in the well-being of young people (eg video consultations, short extracurricular conversations, the aforementioned free interaction at the end of the lesson), many teachers have been able to send a very important message to students - they are taken care of.
  3. Parents is a support and help to many young people, being understanding and caring. For young people who do not live with their parents, regular telephone, video and / or text messaging is helpful.
  4. Friends is one of the most important sources of support for young people. Web-based collaboration (video calling - including learning together; watching movies, playing video games) helps alleviate the lack of direct contact. In the current emergency, young people are greatly helped to know that they have friends who support them, listen to them and want them to do well. The support and understanding provided by the partner or partner is equally valued.
  5. In self-support has been helpful in finding new (hobby) activities, regularly walking or running in the fresh air, exercising at home, listening to music, etc. Many young people are starting to read more; many have also discovered writing for themselves, which provides an opportunity to deal with their feelings and thus support their mental health.

The needs of young people

We believe that every young person is an expert in their own coping. That is why we are compiling here an overview of the needs that would help to support and increase the well-being of young people in this special situation.  

  1. Mental health support from professionals. Remote receptions by (school) psychologists should certainly continue; there was also a need to see a psychiatrist remotely and receive hospital or drug treatment. Many young people do not have the privacy they need at home to receive video or telephone help; the ability to make such calls outside the home is needed. It would provide an opportunity to increase the availability of assistance chatDevelopment of an i-based or synchronous messaging-based web counseling service. Unfortunately, for some young people, online channels are not suitable, so it is important to restore, at least to a limited extent, outpatient specialist appointments as soon as possible. 
  2. Social contact. Understandably, young people long to be with loved ones and friends. This need is facilitated, for example, by the time allowed for distance learning with classmates at the end of lessons or in a class teacher class; more sociable learning. You need to communicate with friends or, in their absence, the opportunity to belong to a supportive online community. 
  3. Support from parents; support resources for parents; help resolve tensions with parents or other loved ones. It is clear that young people's lives are greatly influenced by their family background and the presence of supportive loved ones. Young people long for understanding more; in some cases, parents have not taken young people's concerns about their mental health seriously or have experienced mental violence. Mention was also made of situations where parents rely too heavily on their children and the latter want more (known) more support resources for the parents themselves. In the absence of loved ones, the need for supportive adults or peers is all the more acute.
  4. Development of the quality and organization of distance learning. There was a clear need for a better structured e-learning system. Young people want teachers to collect ongoing feedback on the workload of independent teaching and to adjust the workload.
  5. Time (and space) for yourself and rest. Young people miss the opportunity to be away from the computer; stay in a quiet, safe, private room. Although it is difficult to create this time and space for purely practical reasons due to the special situation, it is this longing that is at the heart of many young people. The opening of school holidays can provide an opportunity for rest, and we hope that innovative solutions will be created to use the currently idle spaces to provide a safe and private environment for young people in dire need. 

In conclusion, we point out the limitations that should be borne in mind when interpreting and applying this summary. It is a modest short sample survey based on young people's subjective opinion of their ability to cope in a given situation. It is clear that its results cannot be generalized to all young people; nor can it be distinguished on this basis whether the concerns described are objectively different from the 'normal' concerns faced by young people in the spring. However, we feel that in a crisis situation where crisis measures are being implemented, it is important to pay attention to the sources of stress and the needs that affect the well-being of young people, whether they existed before the crisis or not. In our view, in addition to the perspectives of specialists (and to support their work), young people's own knowledge of the sources of stress affecting their lives and the possibilities for their relief is equally important. It is by combining diverse perspectives that we can together, more comprehensively understand, support and speak to young people at this special time.

The summary was prepared by Helen Voogla and Merle Purre, with advice and strength, were assisted throughout by Birgit Malken and Hedvig Madisson. The summary was completed on April 16, 2020.

Questions and feedback concerning the survey are welcome to the e-mail address

You can find a more detailed summary of the questionnaire from here.

ACE Category

What will 2020 bring to ENVTL?

Dear ENVTL friends and acquaintances!

We are most pleased to announce that we received support from the Active Citizens' Fund this year!

Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement (ENVTL) applied for funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

In the course of the project, a development plan ensuring the sustainability of the organization will be completed. As a young organization, we do not have long-term plans in place, nor do we have the skills to make those plans. We want to grow our membership, but at the same time learn to involve our members more. We review what the vision and goals of our organization are and how to facilitate their fulfillment.

With a view to the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement as a voice for young people in society, we are organizing four trainings that would help our members to better orient themselves in the complex landscape of advocacy. These trainings provide members with the skills to speak more in project management and communication issues at ENVTL, as well as additional skills in personal life.

Thanks to the project, we can offer our members background experience counseling this year. An experienced counselor is a trained person who has experience of a mental disorder and who can support young people on their journey and help them seek professional help.

ENVTL wants to provide a community that supports mental health, where it is possible to realize and develop one's skills in a safe environment.

The project will run from April 2020 to the end of May 2021. If you have any questions about the project, please contact Birgit Malken

"Together green, strong and inclusive For Europe. "



My journey in ENVTL

When I joined ENVTL a little over 2 years ago, I couldn't expect or want anything more than to be able to go to school to tell my story. I felt that something good could come of my gloomy experience with school bullying, self-harm, and depression; something from which someone could learn to understand their loved ones or recognize themselves and seek help. 

Having shared their experiences not only in schools, but also in podcasts, Teachers' Magazine, Opinion Festival and even in the discussion of the mental health round table of the Ministry of Social Affairs. I have received constant positive feedback from the listeners that due to my courage to be honest and open about my problems, my mental health and the existence of problems have been better understood. With my story, I have been able to open people's eyes and hearts to the hidden sides and mental patterns of mental health problems that affect the lives of those who suffer from them on a daily basis. Although putting myself in such a vulnerable position vis-à-vis strangers is alarming, it is not difficult for me because I can talk about my past with full confidence and feel proud that it is no longer my present. Although I am affected by everything I have experienced to this day and need the support of a psychologist to succeed, I am not ashamed of it.

By sharing my story, I have brought positive changes not only to the lives of the listeners, but also to my own. Telling my story dozens of times, I was able to create an emotional distance with my past. This gave me the opportunity to see new connections or perspectives within the past, which has helped me find answers to many of the questions that have confused me in the past. 

Active participation in ENVTL has also offered me enormous opportunities for self-development in very different ways and in different areas of skills and knowledge. I have been able to get involved and participate in many trainings, workshops, discussions and meetings, seminars, including Erasmus projects, and I am also very much exposed to non-formal learning. This has given me a very diverse knowledge of special fields outside the university. I feel that thanks to ENVTL I have been able to successfully educate myself according to my abilities.

However, when I joined ENVTL, the unified and frugal membership I became part of exceeded my expectations the most. Although I do not have a close family, I have realized that it is ENVTL with these people that my family has become. I have reached a place in my life where I am surrounded by people who value mental health, who are cordial, caring and supportive, and thanks to whom I am learning to believe in people's goodness again. However, this is something I value most of the above.

The author of the song is Helen Voogla