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Reflections on the Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Carnival in Bangladesh, an event supported by The Wellbeing Project

“I felt privileged to have witnessed a seminal moment in the journey of Bangladesh as a nation, toward an era where wellbeing and mental health are acknowledged and prioritized”

By: Samuel Smith , Senior Community Manager at The Wellbeing Project

Date: October 2022

In November 2022 I had the pleasure of representing The Wellbeing Project at the inaugural edition of the Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Carnival at The University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

Co-hosted by the Aachol Foundation and the Innovation for Wellbeing Foundation , the carnival brought together youth groups, media, education & health experts, as well as organizations working at the heart of campaigns relating to the development of youth wellbeing. Significantly, there were also government representatives present, as one of the objectives of the carnival was to influence the upcoming creation of a national mental health framework; the first policy of its kind in Bangladesh. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Dhaka, and I took a lot away from hearing the inspiring stories and experiences of those present. There is a fascinating vibrancy and energy that comes from a movement fronted by young people and students. Their enthusiasm, dynamism, and willingness to tackle difficult and sometimes daunting topics with a smile and laughter is truly infectious. 

I felt privileged to have witnessed a seminal moment in the journey of Bangladesh as a nation, towards an era where wellbeing and mental health are recognized and prioritized. The impact of YMHWBC will be felt well beyond the borders of the university campus, and perhaps even beyond the borders of this beautiful south Asian country. 

A personal thank you to Monira Rahmen for the invitation and for giving me the opportunity to contribute. I would also like to show my gratitude to Heal Bangladesh , Heroes For All , No Passport Voice , SAJIDA Foundation , Moner Bondhu and ADD International for taking the time to explain to me how their work is helping to foster a sense of wellbeing across a variety of sectors in Bangladesh and beyond.