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The five-day Erasmus+ Digital Skills 4 All (DS4A) learning/education and training event, which took place in Maribor from 20 to 24 March 2023, aimed to provide effective strategies and practices in dealing with young people with disabilities. The event included several information sessions and site tours that focused on addressing mental health issues facing young people and offered methods for integrating individuals with disabilities into the workforce.
On the first day, representatives of the National Institute of Public Health presented a series of prevention programmes aimed at improving young people’s mental health. The consultation was complemented by workshops and materials aimed at helping primary, secondary and higher education teachers to manage mental health problems among their students. This session offered valuable insights into how to identify and address mental health problems in young people, which can have a significant impact on their overall well-being.
During the field visits, participants had the opportunity to visit several NGOs, including Sonček, where they learned about how people with disabilities can be included in the workplace. The Gustav Šilih Centre, another organisation visited, offered pre-school education, primary schools and special education programmes tailored to individuals with mild, moderate, severe and profound intellectual disabilities. This visit was an opportunity to learn how institutions can provide specialised educational programmes and support to individuals with disabilities.
The participants also visited the NGO Centres IndiJanez and Centre Šteker, where they learned about a specialised programme in the north-eastern part of Slovenia that provides holistic treatment for young people struggling with addiction to digital technologies. The programme included a range of preventive and curative activities addressing different areas of addiction, such as social networks and the internet in general, mobile phones, tablets, TVs, computer and online games, gambling and online pornography. This session provided valuable insights into how institutions can address issues of addiction among young people.
At the end of the training, the participants joined a guided exercise session in the idyllic nature of the Three Ponds City Park. The outdoor exercise was complemented by relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help relax the body and mind. This activity offered participants the opportunity to relax and reflect on the valuable insights and experiences they had gained during the event.
The five days of DS4A learning/teaching and training activities in Maribor provided a valuable platform for participants to learn about effective strategies and practices in dealing with young people with disabilities. The event highlighted the importance of identifying and addressing mental health problems among young people and providing specialised education programmes and support to individuals with disabilities. Site visits and sessions provided insight into the ways in which institutions can provide holistic treatment for young people struggling with addiction issues, and a guided outdoor exercise session gave participants the opportunity to relax and reflect on the valuable learnings from the event.