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SPAIN: Youth mental health focus of Salesian workshop training

The State Coordination of Salesian Social Platforms in Madrid

Salesians hold workshop to teach staff about mental health challenges and strategies


(MissionNewswire) The State Coordination of Salesian Social Platforms in Madrid held the “Comprehensive approach for children, young people and educational teams” workshop for Salesian staff. The workshop provided practical tools to effectively address mental health challenges faced by youth who are being served by Salesian centers across Spain. An emphasis was placed on ensuring that the integration and normalization of mental health support in the educational plans remains a priority.

Father Luis Fernando López Martínez opened the workshop with a presentation about the importance of understanding mental health from a broader perspective. He highlighted the complexity of the issue and stressed the importance of defining strategies that educational teams manage during the year. He also focused on how youth face intensified emotional vulnerabilities due to overexposure and social comparisons in the digital age and through social networks.

The following day, María José Ortega Cabrera addressed mental health problems in childhood and adolescence, classifying them according to their severity. Challenges were examined and she offered guidelines to address them. She also highlighted ways to differentiate typical behaviors from those that could indicate deeper problems. The goal is always to ensure care for youth in Salesian centers.

The workshop included members of the Magone psychological team, which is a resource open to all Salesian centers. A Salesian said, “This part of the workshop focused on the importance of prevention as a fundamental method for mental health care, promoting healthy habits and emotional self-care, both in educational staff and among children, young people, and young adults who flock to Salesian centers. Specific protective actions were presented, reiterating the need to promote safe environments and encourage prevention from an early age.”

The workshop ended with a presentation about applying mental health support in socio-educational, support and volunteering environments. Participants shared their reflections and what they had learned. The cross-sharing of thoughts and experiences served to enrich the overall workshop and allowed time for peer-to-peer support.

Salesian missionaries have also been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential, technical, and vocational training programs.

Close to 32% of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Spain – Being formed to take care of the mental health of children and young people

Salesian Missions – Spain

World Bank – Spain