Nicole King, left, welcomes particpants in the 2021 UNM Summit. / SUR

United Nationalities Marbella Summit 2021 focuses on youth

The event, attended by representatives of the local authorities, colleges and businesses, addressed mental health and employment issues

RACHEL HAYNES MARBELLA.

The future of young people in the international community on the Costa del Sol was the complex theme at the centre of this year's United Nationalities Marbella Summit, held this Thursday at The Harbour restaurant in the town centre port.

The event was attended by the British Consul for Andalucía Charmaine Arbouin; Marbella Foreign Residents councillor Remedios Bocanegra; and Mijas town councillor Mario Bravo; as well as representatives of the British Chamber of Commerce, local schools and colleges, associations, the Rotary Club and business owners.

President of United Nationalities of Marbella Nicole King said that some young people who had been brought to live in Spain by their parents as children needed opportunities to be able to work and stay in the town.

"Young people are the future," added King, introducing Mirjana Stefanovic of the Marbella International University Centre, who spoke on the advantages of internships and work placements before attendees discussed possible solutions.

The rising number of teen suicides in Spain and around the world, with some recent cases in Marbella still fresh in mind, was a central theme of the event. Nicole King pointed out that prevention was key, and that mental health issues often affect some of the brightest youngsters who have no apparent reason to want to take their own lives. Representatives of La Barandilla, an association that runs a helpline for people with suicidal thoughts, offered some recent figures. Setting up an international suicide prevention helpline was flagged as one of the main objectives of United Nationalities of Marbella this year.