• Athena Center Leuenberg

Mental Health as a Silent Pandemic Plaguing the EU

In a report released by UNICEF, nine million adolescents across Europe, aged 10 to 19, suffer from a mental health issue. The pandemic that plagued the physical health of millions now casts its shadow among the youth—now threatening their mental wellbeing.

Through the course of history, humans have faced countless challenges. From pandemics to political uprisings; wars and famine, we have been resilient. Human beings have always found a way to change the tide, to evolve, and to enter the other side with a new sense of wisdom and awareness. Athena’s founder Simone Junod says that human beings are “pure energy” with potential for a sharp intuition and unstinted emotional strength which can increase our survival and aid our evolution as a species. Today, we are being challenged with the aftermath of Corona. Unfortunately, the problems we are faced with now are merely the exacerbated versions of the issues we have been dealing with for a long time. Case in point: Gender and economic inequality. The UNICEF report highlights that women have suffered a heavy blow from the pandemic—in particular, pregnant women; women in postpartum; women experiencing trauma and abuse have had the worst experiences throughout the year. In Spain, most women struggle financially as they only make 86% of what their male counterparts make on equal conditions further complicating their experience amidst Corona.

It can be argued that most mental health issues are rooted from the systemic problems we have been facing for a long time, and we are now only realizing how deep and heavy it runs to our collective psyche.

These issues are enough to make us question the kind of future we are offering our children. When UNICEF launched a national consultation in France to use as data for the mental health report, results showed that 76.6% of respondents are often distressed, while 53.3% say they are often unmotivated, and 64.2% say they have lost confidence. These systemic problems, coupled with ineffective responses to our mental health emergency, leave a severe impact on the youth’s psychological development.

Although we may have made considerable developments on the field of sciences and medicine, we are still failing to address the mental and emotional issues the people are facing. It seems that we have compromised our well being in lieu of technological innovations and breakthroughs. Human innovation, in contrast, needs to catch up quick.

Humanity can thrive amid challenges. Even when faced with these cards, the human spirit is proven to be unbreakable.

Holistic education, sustainable living conditions, and equality—these are some of the things that Wisdom Keeper and Shaman Simone Junod wants to inculcate and teach among societies. The only way to evolve from where we are now is to accept change, starting from how we can solve the inequality facing women of all race, color, religion, and social status, to how we address mental health and well-being.

In one of Athena’s course sessions, Junod and her instructors say they want to “awaken and strengthen people’s other senses and intuition” using various methods, ones which stem from ancestral rituals from different eastern traditions. Movement, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and Ayurveda have been proven to have positive effects among participants: aiding recovery from illnesses, to helping with decreasing anxiety, depression, and burnout. The overall goal is to raise the body’s energy frequencies which makes people become more physically and emotionally resilient.

We are at a turning point in time where we get to decide which course humanity will take to the future. Either we choose to do things “the old-fashioned way”, or start embracing our spiritual mandate to change, evolve, and dismantle that which destroys our humanity.

Athena Wisdom institute is one with the United Nations with their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which aims to achieve equality, prosperity, and sustainability across the world. We also offer courses on Meditation, mindfulness, and ancient rituals that address our mental health needs emotional wellbeing.