Amplify Campaign

Amplify is a project working across 12 European countries that brings underrepresented voices in the cultural sector to the Conference on the Future of Europe. During the project, project members worked together to write a set of recommendations to EU decision-makers, focusing on ideas, hopes, and demands for the vision of the Future of Europe. Then, at the end of the Conference, they responded to and publicly advocated for these ideas at the #AplifyinAction campaign.



‘Over the past months I’ve listed to the stories of five young adults, all of them dealing with depression, disorders and suicidal thoughts.

They’re stories are accounts of the incredible heaviness of mental illnesses - and the raft between their suffering and the help they get.

Sophie, Danique, Mitch - they were sent away. It’s not bad enough, you don’t struggle enough, he’s fine, he’s just a happy boy that’s what they, and their parents, were told. All of them were suicidal. Martina had to deal with a therapist who made her want to be sick even more. Nomi, even though didn’t want to live anymore, was put on a waiting list for 27 weeks.

Over the past months, I’ve come to care about these five. All of them, they don’t deserve this life. They don’t deserve this pain. None of them should have to think about dying - no 16 year old child should ever have to think about suicide.

There are countless stories like theirs - not just in the Netherlands but everywhere in Europe. They speak to many structural failures within the mental health systems - and they speak to how we, as a society, react when someone says they are mentally not okay. When someone says they are in pain even though we can’t see an injury, when someone says they want to die - do we believe them?
I think these stories show that we don’t believe them enough.

Mental illnesses, just like physical ones, take a toll on lives and bodies. Just like a physical injury, if left untreated they cause severe damage.

Just like physical illnesses, they can be fatal. And yet, they are not treated with the same urgency

Today, I’d like to remind you that the policies you make and actions you take , on the side of it there aren’t numbers or statistics - there are people and your actions have a direct influence on their lives, and their families and friends lives.

I ask all of you to give the topic of mental illnesses more importance, talk about it, care about it and as for the policies and systems: find better ways.

If I had to choose one message to send to Europe, it would be one sent by many already but one that needs to be repeated again:  understand, that Mental illnesses are illnesses - unwanted sicknesses that can be fatal -  and they need to be treated.

Thank you.’