On 24 October 2019, a house-full of enthusiastic stakeholders of the BOOST project gathered at the EUREGHA Office in Brussels for the first dissemination event. The workshop was organized to debate on how to contribute to the “Economy of well-being” by building social and emotional skills in children and young people in Europe through the support of schools and teachers. The event was attended by various speakers with distinct backgrounds and expertise, who shed a light on the potentials of SEL-based approaches to improve mental health resilience.

According to Vladimir Garkov, European Commission Official, a shift in primary education is necessary since the human brain is constantly developing, starting from a very young age. He stated that the European Commission is already taking action in providing guidelines to Member States to develop social and emotional competences in their societies. Stine Hellum Braathen, BOOST coordinator, added that implementing SEL-based learning is vital and contributes to the overall wellbeing and happiness of children. Furthermore, she explained the current state of play of the BOOST project.

During the panel discussion, hosted by Stine Hellum Braathen, four additional speakers were introduced:  Ingrid Stegeman (EuroHealthNet), Laura Marchetti (Mental Health Europe), Carlota Las Hayas (Upright Project) and Ase Marit Hovden (BOOST Project Partner and responsible of Work Package 8). During a lively debate, interventions were made regarding the importance of education and investments in children’s potentials to benefit to the “economy of wellbeing”.

In his closing words, Dag Øyvind Henriksen, Member of the Committee of Education at Buskerud County Council, emphasised the importance of SEL-based learning due to its human and academic-based approach and stressed that the responsibility should be spread over the whole society instead of only teachers.

If you would like to know more about the BOOST project, don’t hesitate to discover more on this website and register for the BOOST newsletter for regular updates.