UNICEF report highlights major mental health issues for children
October 7, 2021 12:34 pm
UNICEF PACIFIC HAS BEEN PLAYING A LEADING ROLE IN THE PROTECTION OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE PACIFIC DURING THE PANADEMIC
The State of the World’s Children 2021 report has revealed a worrying future.
It says that kids and young people could feel the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and well-being for many years to come.
UNICEF says the COVID-19 pandemic represents merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poor mental health outcomes.
It adds that it is an iceberg we have been ignoring for far too long, and unless immediate action is taken, it will continue to have disastrous results for children and societies long after the pandemic is over.
According to the latest available estimates, more than one in seven adolescents aged 10–19 is estimated to live with a diagnosed mental disorder globally.
Almost 46,000 adolescents die from suicide each year, which is among the top five causes of death for this age group.
UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore says many children are filled with sadness, hurt or anxiety.
She adds that some are wondering where this world is headed and what their place is in it.
UNICEF says in Fiji, schools were closed for three months in 2020, and closed again in April 2021, with the second wave of COVID-19, remaining closed as of now.
It says some 200,000 students, ranging from early childhood education to secondary level have not been able to go to school and to learn in classrooms, and benefit from the many other supports available through schools during this time.
UNICEF says the sooner the students can all return safely to the classroom, the better for them, their families and society as a whole.
The ongoing disruption to routines, education, recreation, as well as concerns for family income and health, is leaving many young people feeling afraid, angry, and worried for their future.