Free-of-charge online platform for self-care and mental health of teenagers launched in Bulgaria

UNICEF’s ‘How are you really? Tell me’ campaign focuses on prevention and the development of psychological resilience of adolescents

10 October 2022
‘How are you really? Tell me’
UNICEF Bulgaria/2022

Sofia, 10 October 2022. On World Mental Health Day, at the initiative of UNICEF, the first online self-care and mental health platform for adolescents and youth was launched. The ‘UNICEF Room’ created within the ‘Tell Me’ mobile application helps young people overcome the negative emotions they go through, such as anxiety, loneliness, sadness, fear, and anger.

Access to the platform is easy and free of charge for all young people between 14 and 24 years of age and their parents through the special space in the ‘Tell Me’ app called ‘UNICEF Room’.

Teenagers can learn why panic attacks occur and how they can cope with them, as well as get acquainted with relaxation, anxiety reduction and sleep enhancement exercises. They can also find information in accessible language about the difference between sadness and depression, the causes of stress and how they can overcome it, as well as specific tips for increasing self-esteem and managing negative emotions.

UNICEF data shows that 1 in 5 deaths among 15 to 19-year-olds in the EU is caused by intentional self-harm and suicide is the second most prevalent cause of death for adolescents of the same age in Europe.

50% of all mental health disorders start by age 14, and 75% - by age 24.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during the war in Ukraine, conditions such as fear, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks were aggravated among adolescents in Bulgaria. This comes in addition to the already existing challenges  of bullying at school, domestic violence, the importance of career guidance, the emergence of the first intimate relationships, and the intergenerational gap between parents and children. 

UNICEF Bulgaria/2022

The purpose of the virtual ‘UNICEF Room’ is to help young people develop psychological resilience, build skills to deal with adverse events, and to better understand themselves and what they want. The platform's information portal is also extremely useful for parents of teenagers who want to learn how to support emotionally their child. The focus is on the prevention phase – what any young person or parent can do on their own to strengthen their mental health and thus be able to help others as well.

The new platform and ‘How are you really? Tell me’ campaign is the result of the already conducted national campaign of UNICEF Bulgaria ‘Beyond the smiles. How are you really?’, which aimed to support children and young people in Bulgaria to deal with anxiety and depression and to raise awareness of the importance of mental health.

‘UNICEF is hearing loud and clear the voices of young people who are the first generation that is talking so openly about mental health, more than ever before, and are demanding real action from all of us. Regardless of the topic, they are concerned with – pandemic, war, violence, poverty, discrimination, climate change, quality of education, access to services, skills building – this has a direct effect on their mental well-being. So providing them with tools in the digital world which they inhabit, with very practical ways in which they can improve their own emotional condition is the first step of a long journey to more accessible, affordable, equitable mental health for everyone in Bulgaria’, said Sanja Saranovic, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Bulgaria.

The content of the platform will be enriched and upgraded continuously, and each user has the opportunity to personify their schedule according to their needs.

Download here the free-of-charge anonymous app:

App store:
Google Play:

Why was this platform created – what do young people tell us about their mental health?

The topic of mental health is sensitive and young people prefer to talk about it primarily with their peers. That is why UNICEF supported girls and boys from Bulgaria to take on the role of researchers and to tell more about the experience of their peers. Here’s what they shared:  

‘It was shocking, slightly depressive, the pandemic triggered anxiety. A lot of people were affected, a lot of disorders were triggered’, said Lily, 19, of her emotions during the pandemic.

‘My school performance dropped, I got poor grades. I was lying in bed during online classes, I didn't move until the evening, I didn't bathe, I didn't even brush my teeth,'  said Radostina, 17, of the lack of motivation.

‘The most important thing is to be surrounded by people, to be social, to communicate. That's why school is so important. Family is also very important for good mental health. The most important support comes from there,’ said Alexander, 17, about the factors that affect mental health. 

‘In Bulgaria, it is not OK to say that you are not OK. There's a drop of shame in seeking help’, said Bogdan, 17, about the main obstacle to seeking support.

‘In Bulgaria, it is believed that the psychologist is for people who are freaked out and mentally ill, said George, 17, about the social stigma.

'A lot of people who have insomnia don't seek help at all and just don't do anything, ignore the problem. Others try to treat their depressive states with alcohol, drugs, or sex, said Paul, 21, about common negative coping tactics.

Young people also outline factors such as gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and location, which also affect attitudes to mental health and access to support. According to them, up-to-date, easily accessible, practical information is needed on various topics related to the mental health of adolescents. Addressing these needs, UNICEF initiated the ‘UNICEF Room’ in the ‘Tell Me’ app.  

What else can you expect during the mental health month?

  1. UNICEF Bulgaria supports an immersive art and music installation by young artists in Sofia on the topic of mental health.
  2. UNICEF Bulgaria supports Teen Station's youth mental health podcast series Inside Out. 


Additional resources: 

  • More about the platform read here
  • Watch here a video about the platform

Media contacts

Boryana Gidikova
Communication Officer
UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel: +359 893 52 52 40


For 75 years, UNICEF has worked in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit