Dia daoibh, a chairde,
I am writing this from a café in Dublin City Centre with the rain pouring down (yes, you best bring your raincoat to Ireland) I think back to this day last year. On September 7th, 2016 an incredible group of youth mental health advocates from Jigsaw, ReachOut and the Youth Empowerment Service got together to watch the screening of the IAYMH Welcome Video that they created. It was incredible to see the dedicated young people collaborate on the video and for the end product to highlight why Dublin is such a great location for IAYMH 2017.
Now, a year later, the Conference is almost upon us. The last few months have been full of calls, emails and meetings as people from all corners of the world worked together to make IAYMH 2017 the best yet. I have been amazed by the people I have met through IAYMH and the dedication of those who are working to create positive change in youth mental health! It has been so inspiring to work alongside my fellow Co-Convenor Rikki, our Coordinator Nick, the Conference Organisers and (most importantly) all of the brilliant youth delegates.
The collaboration, learning and development from the group so far has added so much to the 2017 Conference. It won’t be long until we see it come to fruition on September 24th! I hope that the voice of young people is made ever-stronger by the Conference, that everyone feels empowerment and energised from being surrounded by change-makers just like themselves at IAYMH 2017.
I am so looking forward to welcoming the 2017 IAYMH delegates to the (in my very biased opinion) incredible city of Dublin! The 2017 Conference is shaping up to be (again, biased opinion) the best yet.
Wishing you all a very safe journey to Dublin for the IAYMH 2017 Conference!
Go n-éirí an bóthar libh