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Evidence based, youth-led solutions to improving mental health

Being is a mental health initiative envisioning a world where young people feel well and thrive. Being works with young people (aged 10 to 24) in 12 low- and middle-income countries to improve their mental wellbeing through research, innovation, and ecosystem building, with a focus on prevention and promotion.

Fondation Botnar is working in collaboration with Grand Challenges Canada (funded partly by the Government of Canada), United for Global Mental Health, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care using UK aid through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR),  the Science for Africa Foundation, and Orygen (Learning and Support Provider) to support Being.

Harnessing Local Insights to Guide Youth Mental Health Funding

Young people and those closest to mental health challenges are best placed to identify needs and barriers and offer innovative and sustainable solutions.

That’s why Being has supported locally-driven landscape analyses and country consultations with youth, policymakers, local organisations, and mental health experts in the 12 priority countries. The goal? To understand each country’s unique challenges and opportunities: What’s driving young people’s mental health, and how to build consensus around advocacy and funding priorities. The findings from this work have already informed the initiative’s funding priorities in innovation and ecosystem building. 

Being’s report, “Mapping Youth Mental Health Landscapes: Local Insights from 13 Countries,” explores the findings from the country consultations and dives into some of the country’s most pressing youth mental health issues, drivers, and strategies for collaboration and action.

  • Egypt
  • Tanzania
  • Romania
  • Ghana
  • Senegal
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • Indonesia
  • Pakistan
  • Sierra Leone
  • Vietnam


One in seven adolescents worldwide faces mental health conditions and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. In low- and middle-income countries, up to 90% of young people’s mental health needs are unmet due to a lack of resources. Despite the growing need, national health budgets globally only allocate 2% to mental health. Young people facing these challenges are vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, stigma, and physical health problems.

It is crucial to prioritise and invest in young people’s mental health to ensure their wellbeing in adolescence and adulthood.


Launched in 2022 to respond to the ongoing mental health challenges faced by young people, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries. Being supports young people’s mental health and wellbeing in 12 priority countries by funding and supporting research, innovation, and ecosystem building, focused on prevention and promotion and the early drivers of their mental health challenges. The goal is to improve young people’s mental health and influence lasting change in programming, research and policies related to their wellbeing.

Being believes those closest to the challenges can better identify needs and barriers and offer impactful and sustainable solutions. The initiative’s funding priorities in research, innovation, and ecosystem building have been informed by locally driven country consultations with youth, policymakers, local organizations, and mental health experts.

As a collaborative initiative, the support of its partners helps achieve its goals. Being also benefits from the expertise and input of a Council and advisory groups of young people and people with lived experience of mental health challenges.

From Learning to Action

Being is funding prevention and promotion ideas targeting underserved youth aged 10-24 and projects tackling systemic barriers to sustainable mental health initiatives. You can see their open opportunities on their website.


We must centre youth leaders at the forefront of decision-making globally — the leadership of young people, especially those with lived experience of mental health challenges, is so important. In mental health advocacy platforms, the participation and leadership of marginalised youth populations becomes even more urgent and meaningful.”

Viet Trinh

Images: Being

The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74