Unicef: More than one in seven adolescents lives with a mental disorder | Life

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Unicef ​​encourages private and public institutions to invest in child and adolescent mental health in all sectors. – Photo by Stanislav Hubkin / IStock.com via AFP-Relaxnews

NEW YORK, October 6 – Unicef ​​has released a report on the mental health status of children aged 0-19. According to figures released in this publication, 49,000 young people commit suicide each year, making it one of the top five causes of death. in this age group.

“It is estimated that 13% of adolescents aged 10 to 19 live with a diagnosed mental disorder”, underlines Unicef ​​on the occasion of the publication of the report “The State of the Children in the World 2021: On MY Mind: Promote, protect and care for children’s mental health. The report, published at the international conference “Mind Our Rights, Now! Works as an alert on children’s mental health, which has particularly deteriorated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has been long, very long 18 months for all of us, especially the children … The impact is significant and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said the Executive Director of Unicef. , Henrietta Fore. “Almost 46,000 adolescents commit suicide each year, which is among the top five causes of death for this age group.

The organization dedicated to the rights of the child regrets that only “2% of government health budgets are allocated to mental health spending in the world”. An investment “too low”, deplores Fore.

Protect children’s mental health

To support parents, Unicef ​​has put online a guide entitled “What do you have in mind?” Divided into four age categories (0-5 to 14-18), this campaign explains the main changes experienced at each stage of life and provides tips for “starting a conversation about mental health” with children. .

Private and public institutions have a role to play, according to Unicef, which encourages these organizations to commit “to urgently invest in the mental health of children and adolescents in all sectors”, and to focus particularly on prevention. She also wants to ensure better monitoring of mental health disorders, through education and social protection, and finally to break “the silence that surrounds mental illness”.

“Mental health is part of physical health – we can’t afford to continue to look at it any other way,” Fore explained. “For too long, in rich and poor countries alike, we have seen too little understanding and too little investment in something essential to maximizing the potential of every child. This must change, ”she concluded. ETX Studio


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