A thematic conference on Strengths, Well-Being and Engagement of Youth in the Arctic was held today at the National Museum of Iceland, in Reykjavik, in connection with the meeting of the Arctic Council Working Group on Sustainable Development taking place in Isafjordur.
The conference highlighted recent findings on Arctic youth perspectives through engagement and research, with emphasis on preventive factors and social inclusion. Youth representatives participated in the panel debate and underlined the importance of their participation in all matters concerning youth. The strengths and well-being of youth were at the forefront, focussing on knowledge translation from research to real life situations. Conference participants emphasised the importance of preventive psychiatric care (trauma informed care, TIC) with youth involvement, and respect for cultural diversity and sustainability. Special attention was payed to mental health issues and high suicide rates among Arctic youth. Experts emphasised the importance of finding ways to address and reduce this tragic trend, in good collaboration with young people in the communities.
The conference addressed one of the priorities of the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council: well-being of people and communities of the Arctic. The conclusions of the conference will be presented and discussed at the SDWG meeting in Isafjordur 11-12 September.
The conference is organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network, the University of Iceland Institute for International Affairs, Centre for Arctic Studies and the University of Akureyri.