HuffPost What's Working Honor Roll: How Lebanon's Youth Are Challenging Mental-Health Stigma

A picture taken on March 14, 2014, in the Lebanese capital Beirut shows the entrance of the American University of Beirut Med
A picture taken on March 14, 2014, in the Lebanese capital Beirut shows the entrance of the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, who led the regime's negotiating team at failed peace talks this year, has been admitted to hospital in neighbouring Lebanon, a medical source said. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

As journalists, we dutifully report on what's going wrong, from scandals and corruption to natural disasters and social problems. But far too often the media fails to show the whole picture, neglecting to tell the stories of what is working. From scientific breakthroughs to successful crime-reduction initiatives, the What’s Working Honor Roll highlights some of the best reporting and analysis, from a range of media outlets, on all the ways people are working toward solutions to some of our greatest challenges.

Nearly everywhere, there is a stigma surrounding mental-health issues -- the notion being that if you suffer from a particular mental-health disorder, you should keep it to yourself. It's a stigma fueled by unjustified shame that feelings of anxiety, depression and other symptoms of mental illness are not normal.

But in a world where hundreds of millions of people struggle with mental-health problems, what are we being so quiet about?

Young people in Lebanon are challenging the shame first hand. And the country, where approximately one in four people has struggled with a mental-health disorder, is seeing a remarkable shift in the way its citizens think and talk about mental health. That's all thanks to the country's youth, who are teaming up with non-governmental organizations and local non-profits to raise awareness about mental health and make it acceptable to talk about.

Support group "Embrace," for example, recently released a video challenging common and distorted Lebanese views of mental health. Advocates are also pushing for better medical care and a greater emphasis on legislative support for mental health issues.

"If awareness is the first step toward change, Lebanon’s young generation are starting a brave journey," Positive News' Federica Marsi writes.


If you know a story you think should be on our Honor Roll, please send an email to our editor Catherine Taibi via with the subject line "WHAT'S WORKING."