Strengthen Families

Quarter Life Crises Prevention for Youth (18-25 years) in Supporting Peacebuilding Project in Indonesia

Wairimu Mwangi
January 27, 2024

According to the World Health Organization, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global disease burden in this age group, with suicide ranked as the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. Depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. The consequences of failing to address adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing physical and psychological health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.

In Indonesia, the Covid-19 pandemic served to compound these challenges. Ellin Kustianasari shared her story of being a 19-year-old living in the country in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

“The pandemic changed our education system, economy, work culture and lifestyle,” Ellin said. She was forced to transition from a teenager to an adult who needed to find a job, maintain good relationships, and improve her family's financial situation. Some negative emotions from overthinking her situation included stress and anxiety over her present and future insecurity. Many of her friends faced a similar situation.

Looking at ways of improving this situation among her peers and for herself, Ellin did a psychological assessment to determine the extent to which the feelings of being in a “quarter-life crisis” negatively affected youths in her community and impaired their mental health. In response to the challenge, Ellin created a project called “Quarter Life Crises Prevention for Youth in Supporting Peacebuilding” targeting youth aged 18 to 25 in Indonesia. She has been conducting annual webinars since 2021 on self-awareness among the youth.

The focus of the webinars has been to help the participants discover their strengths and weaknesses and find ways to navigate those weaknesses collaboratively. She has also helped young people in her community create vision boards and write down their life purpose. She has been building a culture of service and living for the greater good among the participants of her project.

In one of her sessions, the participants brainstormed on how to become job creators through owning small businesses as opposed to being job seekers. She brought on board veteran business owners who shared their inspiring stories with the participants and offered business mentorship services. She reported a reduction of the feeling of being in a quarter-life crisis among the youth in her community by 20.85% at the end of her 2023 webinar.

In true Global Peace Women style, Ellin’s project has inspired the youth in her community to care for their mental well-being by taking ownership of their life and dreaming big. Her sacrifice to empower others in her community has helped to foster collaboration and sharing among the youth in Indonesia.