Focus Area 2
Health & Wellbeing
In the next 5 years, to build core life-skills in young people and foster positive mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Mind, Body & Resilience
Good health in childhood fosters confidence, stability and positive choices for adulthood. But children’s lives are now and the health and wellbeing challenges they face are currently affecting them. Therefore the problems need to be addressed immediately. From 2020 to 2025, the Irish Youth Foundation will fund exemplary programmes that support physical activity, good emotional and mental health and foster resilience, self-esteem and positive life-skills in young people.
The problem our funding addresses
Daily, our children face physical, emotional and mental health challenges. Serious mental health problems, self-harm and suicide are far too prevalent among our youngest.
Physical Health
of 9 year olds meet the recommended 60 mins a day of physical activity. If you grow up in a poor household you are at an higher risk of having a number of health problems in later life, including cardiovascular disease, lung disease & mental health issues.

1 in 4

in disadvantaged areas are presenting as overweight or obese. State-funded research estimates that obesity and unhealthy weight issues will result in the deaths of 85,000 of this generation of children in Ireland.
Mental Health
In 2015, Ireland had the seventh highest rate of youth suicide (aged 15-19) across 33 countries.
One in ten 17/18 year olds said that they had no adult to whom they could turn for help and advice. Students experiencing homelessness present with a number of visible mental health issues, including high levels of anxiety, self-stigma, embarrassment and low levels of self-esteem. The depression rate of 26% for female early school leavers is the second highest in the OECD and the depression figure for early school leaving males is 21%, twice the OECD average.
The solution our funding provides
The Irish Youth Foundation will identify evidence-based and dynamic programmes that deliver measurable results. In the next 5 years, we will:
Fund smart and innovative programmes
that specifically target children and young people from socially and economically deprived communities to be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.
Support pioneering initiatives
that help young people to overcome anxiety, self-esteem and emotional difficulties, helping them reach a crucial tipping point in their lives when they start building a fulfilling future.
Target key interventions
for funding that assist children who are experiencing trauma, crisis and chaotic changes in their lives to cope, survive, make better life choices and build the personal strength to thrive.
Fund programmes that allow children and young people
to gain access to arts, culture, sports and outdoor activities in order to develop broader life-skills, and more accessible, non-academic proven ways of building resilience, self-esteem, leadership skills and self-belief.