Youth Health Literacy [YHL]

Investigação -
Youth Health Literacy [YHL]

Referência do Projeto: 2021-2-MT01-KA220-YOU-000049937

Link para mais informações sobre o projeto:


Blog: “A teacher’s take on youth health literacy”

Since I was young, I aspired to become a natural science teacher. But now that I see this dream realised, a collective responsibility shared with my colleagues falls upon me, to contribute to the health literacy of my young students. I understand that youth health extends beyond mere physical well-being. It is about recognising that a strong foundation of health is crucial for turning aspirations of young people into reality, especially for those less fortunate.

When granted the autonomy to make informed decisions about our bodies and health, we take charge of our well-being. We grasp that comprehensive sexual education is key to empowerment, enabling us to make responsible choices about our sexual health, reducing unwanted pregnancies, and preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Mental health is another vital aspect that transcends the subject I teach but should be present throughout the community. In a world that often feels overwhelming, I feel the need to break the stigma surrounding youth mental health. This realisation often comes from our own experiences, as we sometimes suffer and witness our friends, relatives, partners struggling due to a lack of openness.

It was with this topic of mental health that I addressed the risks associated with drug and alcohol use, which are so common among youth who gravitate towards new and thrilling experiences, tempting them to experiment with substances out of curiosity. It was by speaking openly about it that I captured the audience’s attention during an initial session of the science course. The more informed we are, the better we can defend ourselves, and the stronger and healthier we are. So, health literacy becomes our guiding light, a powerful tool equipping us with the knowledge to make informed choices. Good health literacy outcomes guide us toward a future where we can contribute positively to society as healthy, responsible, and engaged citizens.

Co-funded by #Erasmusplus to promote #YouthHealthLiteracy, #YouthHealth, and #YouthRightsToHealth. 


Blog: “Outsider no more, a journey of self-discovery”

At 34, looking back on my life, I have often felt like an outsider. This sense of not fully belonging was not solely due to my sexuality but was also heavily influenced by my body. As a black woman who is plus sized, these two integral parts of my identity consistently left me with the feeling that I did not quite fit in. Throughout my life, I never truly felt like I belonged: whether it was during my time at high school or as a member of the youth group at the church; that sense of not being completely included lingered.

Being lesbian does not fit into the traditional dreams that my family had for me. My father would find it impossible to accept, and my mother would surely die of shame. And how could I ever face the judgmental looks of the ladies at church? They already regarded me with condescension, pitying my mother for having such a masculine daughter. As soon as I graduated from high school, I knew I had to leave that place behind. I needed to find a job far away from the suffocating prejudice that surrounded me. Leaving was not easy, personally and financially. But I needed to feel better, it was not possible to live like that. The sadness, loneliness I experienced was detrimental to my mental health.

Looking back, I now know it was a burden that I should not have had to carry for so long. And today, I can take pride in having managed to break free from that unhealthy anguish. Though the journey took me many years and required a significant amount of resilience. At times, I wished I had someone whom I could openly talk with about my own struggle and get support. Nevertheless, along this path, I discovered my own strength. Along the way, the journey taught me to appreciate my own resilience and determination. It has been a liberating experience, and I started to build a sense of belonging that had eluded me for so long. It was worth it because now I can finally embrace my identity and be proud of myself.

Co-funded by #Erasmusplus to promote #YouthHealthLiteracy, #YouthHealth, and #YouthRightsToHealth. 


Blog: “Breaking free from those invisible chains”

I was born into poverty in a run-down neighbourhood of a big city where drug use was all too common. Growing up in such an environment, drugs became an everyday part of life for many in my community, and they cast a long shadow over my early years. I witnessed the devastating effects of drug abuse on families and individuals. It seemed like an ever-present spectre, one that could easily engulf anyone who ventured too close. The allure of drugs, coupled with the harsh realities, creates invisible chains that bind one to an obscured reality, making it difficult to break free and find a way towards a brighter future.

During my time in school, the relentless pressure to conform weighed heavily on me. It seemed like many of my peers were already delving into the world of experimentation, including trying out drugs. However, I found myself in a different situation. Limited financial resources and a deeply ingrained belief that stealing was morally wrong served as a barrier, preventing me from succumbing. Nonetheless, there were moments when the boundaries between what was considered right and wrong became hazy, and I stood at a crossroads, uncertain about the direction I should choose.

In those challenging moments, I grappled with conflicting impulses and struggled to discern which direction would guide me toward a more promising future. It was not easy, but I found strength in the support of a few caring individuals who believed in me. They encouraged me to pursue my education and to channel my energy into positive activities. Slowly but surely, I distanced myself from the pull of drugs and focused on building a better future. My path was marked by challenges and setbacks, but it was also defined by resilience and the belief that I could rise above my circumstances. Over time, I discovered my own passions and talents, and I began to see a future beyond those not-so-invisible chains.

Co-funded by #Erasmusplus to promote #YouthHealth, #YouthDrugPrevention, and #YouthDrugPromotion. 


Blog: “My youthhood, a parenthood experience”

I was just 16 years old when I found myself facing an incredibly challenging decision. I had discovered that I was pregnant, a revelation that shook my world to its core. In a society where conversations about youth sexual health and rights were often met with stigma and judgement, I was acutely aware of the challenges that lay ahead. Upon confiding in my closest friends, I was met with a barrage of well-meaning but pressure-laden advice. Some urged me to consider abortion as the easiest option, while others insisted that having a child at such a young age would ruin my life.

However, I knew that I needed to make a choice that was true to myself and my beliefs. During this emotional turmoil, I decided to seek guidance from professionals who could help me navigate this complex journey. I scheduled an appointment with a psychologist who specialised in youth sexual health and reproductive rights. In our sessions, I found a safe space to voice my fears, hopes, and dreams. The psychologist helped me explore my options, explaining that my decision was a deeply personal one and that I had the right to choose the path that felt right for me. After much contemplation and support, I decided to continue my pregnancy and face the challenges ahead with determination and courage.

This choice allowed me to assert my rights and make a decision that aligned with my own values and aspirations. I advocate for an open conversation about sexuality, free from judgement and false moralism. I believe that tolerance and information also entail accepting that some individuals choose to become young mothers. And therefore, talking to youth about these important topics should not be taboo and stigmatised. The further society distances itself from open dialogue about youth sexual health and rights, the harder it becomes for the youth. I think that stories like mine, break the silence, erase the stigma, and build a future where understanding and support prevail.

Co-funded by #Erasmusplus to promote #YouthHealth, #SexualHealth, #SexualRights, and #GenderLiteracy.




  • OID: E10066051 – MINISTRY FOR GOZO – Malta

Victoria (


  • OID: E10098263 – TERRAM PACIS – Norway

Oslo (


Belluno (


Targoviste (

  • OID: E10065178 – E.I.A., SA – Establishing Entity of Universidade Atlântica – Portugal

Barcarena (



Atlântica, Instituto Universitário

Fábrica da Pólvora de Barcarena

2730-036 Barcarena


Prof. Doutora Ana Pires

+351 214 398 215


Instituição Coordenadora do Projeto:


European Commission – Programa Erasmus+

KA220 Youth – Cooperation Partnerships in Youth

Referência do Projeto: 2021-2-MT01-KA220-YOU-000049937