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Our YAM Program - Youth Aware of Mental Health

What is YAM?

Youth Aware of Mental Health, YAM for short, is a school-based program for young people aged 13 to 17 years in which they learn about and discuss mental illness in an active way. YAM has been evaluated in an EU-wide randomised, controlled trial in which more than 11,000 young people took part. A research project entitled "Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe" (SEYLE) has invest­igated three school-based approaches for the promotion of mental health and prevention of suicide. The results show that YAM reduced the number of new suicide attempts and severe suicidal ideation in the participants by approx. 50 % and that of first episodes of depressive illness by approx. 30 %. It was also found that YAM strengthens peer support and helps to increase solidarity among young people.

The efficacy of YAM is convincing and supported by a substantial body of scientific evidence. 

    • Danuta Wasserman et. al., Lancet 2015

    • Camilla Wasserman et. al., PLoS ONE 2018

    • Janet C. Lindow et. al., Archives of Suicide Research 2019

    • and a number of further publications.

YAM was developed to provide help that is adapted to the needs of young people. The program has now been carried out worldwide with over 100,000 school students in 16 countries. Whenever YAM is carried out in a new country or a new cultural context, including Germany, young people and experts in that location work together to ensure that the programme corresponds to the local needs and cultural peculiarities.


Our image video explains very well what YAM is:

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