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Mind matters 🧘🏻

This chapter of the blog is going to be about the training course "Mind Matters" that happened in Hungary from 16th to 24th of March, and where three wonderful girls from Estonia Anne-Mari, Lina and Pille-Riin went together to learn about mental health and different methods to implement in their youth work! They also found another Estonian there, Pilleriin who's right now making her ESC there in Hungarian organisation 🇪🇪

First participant to share her experience is Lina: "This project was one of the most special for me although I have been on many before. There was something magical about the place we came to - clean nature, fresh air, away from the busy city life, horses, dogs and cats. I believe that all these factors added more immersion to the topic of the project, which was about mental health.

Regarding this one, I really learned a lot of new ways for me how to talk to people about things that are not accepted so much in the wider society. The facilitators did an amazing job and I am very grateful to them for that.

Each workshop had a different goal and I think it was possible to achieve each one. I particularly enjoyed the meditation session, when the group and I went for a short walk around the neighbourhood and then ended with a meditation for about 30 minutes - I really felt renewed after that experience.

I would also like to mention numerous methods from art therapy, for example, in one of the workshops we had a team of 6 people to paint a whole sheet of A1 paper without talking to each other and only one person at a time could paint. I think this kind of group work really helped to get closer to the project participants. And really I felt a huge connection with each person on it.

I found it interesting to talk and discuss completely different topics, as well as to express my thoughts and not be afraid of being judged or not supported at all. The intercultural exchange was a very important part and I was very pleased with the impression each participant left of the country.

The cultural evenings were also some of the best I have ever seen - songs, delicious food, very unusual presentations and facts that I would never have learnt about if it wasn't for the guys from the project. I was left with an incredible warmth from everything in my soul and incredibly grateful to Ethos MTÜ for calling me to such a delightful exchange. Each of the factors of the exchange made it so incredible - the people, the nature, the programme and so much more."

Anne-Mari: "I applied for the project because I felt like it is a really important topic to know about in our society because a lot of people struggle with it and don’t get the help that they need or they just don’t know what to do about it. We learned how to help yourself and each other if you are struggling with mental health. The whole week was very well planned out and we learned about it in really different ways: outside meditating or doing fun games, inside doing group discussions, painting our feelings on a paper or watching a movie together and analysing the people with different problems after the movie.

It is always so amazing to see that you are not alone in this world and a lot of people feel the same way as you do, and in this project I felt like all of us had something in common. We had an amazing group of people who all played an important roll in the project. Our facilitator Richie did an amazing job. He talked about the topics so interestingly that everybody was actively listening and he made the learning part fun. Also the place where we stayed at was amazing, and I can’t even put to words how beautiful it was and it really made the project even better. Our accommodation host organised us to ride with horses and do archery which I had never tried and I was so happy to learn about it.

One really funny memory for me was the fourth or fifth day of the project where I just wanted to go sit outside and enjoy the sun before the breakfast and as I stepped outside of our house two horses where looking straight at me and eating grass. No fence between us, just me and the horses and it was so peaceful but also funny moment because my mind couldn’t comprehend what was going on.

I really learned a lot about mental health and I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Ethos and Europa Ifjusaga Egyesület gave me, to be part of the project. I'm thankful for the people that I met in the project and who I now can call my friends and all of the memories and funny stories will always stay in my heart."

Text: Lina Vainlo, Anne-Mari Kohava


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