2016 - All news

Interview with Mentor International Chair, Yvonne Thunell

Dec. 15, 2016

Mentor International’s Chair, Yvonne Thunell, recently attended a summit on the global proliferation of narcotics at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. This summit, “Narcotics: Problems and Solutions of This Global Issue,” was requested by Pope Francis to bring together the leading international scientists and practitioners to highlight the global drug epidemic. In this interview, Thunell talks about Mentor’s involvement at the summit, the topics discussed, and the most shocking thing she learned.

A link to access all presentations will be available at the end of the interview.


What was the overall purpose of the summit? Who attended?

Yvonne Thunell (YT): Following a special wish of Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences (PAS) organized this seminar to bring together leading professionals, scientists, experts, medical doctors, researchers, practitioners, members of civil society, judges and academicians to examine and discuss possible innovative solutions to drug-related issues.


Today, substance abuse problems are undeniably topical, since drugs are one of the scourges of our globalized world. The seminar focused specifically on the scientific aspect, such as the consequences of substance abuse on our bodies and brains, as well as the potential medical uses of certain drugs for specific diseases and disorders ...

Mentor International and H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden to Attend Vatican Summit

Nov. 22, 2016

Pontifical Academy of Sciences holding a two-day workshop on Narcotics: Problems and Solutions of this Global Issue

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN 22 November 2016 — H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden will introduce the workshop attended by leading professionals, scientists, experts, medical doctors, researchers, practitioners, members of civil society, judges and Pontifical Academicians. The current system to be examined presents numerous aspects: the history of drug use from a cultural and geopolitical point of view, the different types of substances, the centers of production and distribution and consumer typologies.

The goal of the two days is to reach a consensus about possible innovative solutions to this global health threat. Particular attention will be devoted to prevention of substance abuse related to children and young people.   

Mentor Foundation International will attend this special session as the leading international not-for-profit organization working to empower young people and prevent drug abuse. H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden established Mentor International in 1994 in collaboration with the WHO.


Yvonne Thunell, Chairman of Mentor Foundation International will present a session, Preventing Drug Addiction in Children and Youth, that will focus on the impact Mentor has had on preventing substance abuse among young people. 


Leading drug education charities, Angelus and Mentor UK, to merge

Oct. 4, 2016

LONDON, 28 SEPTEMBER 2016 – Two of the UK's leading drugs education charities have announced they are to merge.

Angelus is the only UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of the risks from new psychoactive substances (also known as 'legal highs'). Mentor UK is the UK's leading charity working to prevent the misuse of alcohol and drugs among children and young people. They will merge on 1 October 2016 and operate under the Mentor name. Michael O'Toole, chief executive of Mentor, will lead the new organisation, with Jan King, chief executive of Angelus, leaving as part of the merger process, although she will stay to help with the handover.

Together, they have a shared ambition to see a considerably increased provision of preventative education delivered to young people so that every young person in the UK can assess the risks that drugs present. They have already worked together in lobbying the Government to help educate young people in the wake of the New Psychoactive Substances Act.

Angelus was founded by Maryon Stewart, whose daughter Hester died in 2009 after taking a legal high. Mentor UK was founded in 1998 and is part of the group of charities affiliated with the Mentor International Foundation. The ...

My Mentor Made Me Dream Bigger and Believe in Myself

Feb. 29, 2016

Do you want to become the next Michael Kors even though it's notoriously difficult to get a job in the fashion industry? When Rina was about to choose her secondary school program, the people around her made her doubt which path to take, but then she met her mentor Cecilia. Cecilia made her believe in herself and encouraged her to follow her dream.

Cecilia Has Helped Me to Find My Way

Feb. 29, 2016

When Cecilia and Evin started their mentor-year Evin was insecure and felt scared of moving outside her comfort area. She wasn’t keen on using public transport and double-checked her travels again and again. They usually met close to Evin’s home in Vårby but as they got to know each other they could travel further and further.