This 17th November marked 79 years since the student protests of Prague, a determinant event in the history of the student movement, remembered all around the world as International Students Day.

In 1939, eight students and a professor were murdered in a crackdown on students protests by the invading Nazi regime. 1200 other protestors were sent to their deaths in concentration camps. As School Student Unions from all parts of Europe, OBESSU feels the need to remember the sacrifice of all these people, students and education workers, killed for their fight for freedom and against nazi-fascism. Every year we make this day central in our current campaigns for school students’ rights and for a fairer education for all.

To always remember the origins of the student movements and the relevance of our action in the past, and to inspire our future.

In 2018 the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) and the European Students Union (ESU) focused on the Mental Health of students in their annual campaign, titled “Mind Our Education”.

There were 5 key demands for education providers and stakeholders;

  1. Mental health education to be a part of national curricula;

  2. Free and high quality psychological and mentoring support for all students;

  3. Medical checkups for all students;

  4. Full recognition of ill mental health as a factor impacting on educational performance;

  5. Student centred learning and inclusion of all students, regardless of their background.

From World Mental Health Day on 10th October until International Students Day, OBESSU ran an online campaign focusing on these key demands, sharing good practices from its member countries and reaching out to organisations working in the field.

The Global Call for Action from OBESSU and ESU outlined these demands and the need to discuss mental health in our work in education. The call has been signed by 52 organisations from all over the world, with messages of support still being received 10 days after the call was closed.

Mental health has been a focus topic for OBESSU in 2018, with a working group being formed on the topic and a mental health convention taking place also in November. OBESSU plans to continue and build on this work, and continue to develop its Member Organisations capacity in working on this extremely important topic.