NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a recommendation by the World Conference of Ministers Response for Youth to designate August 12 as International Youth Day.
The U.N. chose to focus this year's observance on "Youth and Mental Health" in order to raise awareness about mental health and diminish the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
"For this year's observance of International Youth Day, the United Nations wants to help lift the veil that keeps young people locked in a chamber of isolation and silence," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
"Young people who are already considered vulnerable, such as homeless youth, those involved in the juvenile justice system, orphaned youth and those having experienced conflict situations, are often more susceptible to stigma and other barriers, leaving them even more adrift when they are most in need of support. Let us remember that with understanding and assistance, these young people can flourish, making valuable contributions to our collective future."
"As we mark International Youth Day 2014," the U.N. head concluded, "let us enable youth with mental health conditions to realize their full potential, and let us show that mental health matters to us all."