COVID-19 could leave lasting impact on children’s mental health, UNICEF warns
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that children and young people could feel the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health for many years.
“Children and young people could feel the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and well-being for many years to come,” UNICEF in its flagship state of the world’s children report for 2021 said.
The UN agency berated government of nations across the world for paying less attention to issues surrounding mental health.
It revealed that about 13 per cent of adolescents aged 10 to 19 live with a diagnosed mental disorder, adding that almost 46,000 children die annually from suicide.
However, the flagship report said that only two per cent of government health budgets were earmarked for mental health spending yearly, falling short of the amount needed to adequately address issues relating to mental health.
“Globally about two per cent of government health budgets are allocated to mental health spending, less than US$1 per person in some of the poorest countries,” the report said.
“These figures fall far short of treating mental health conditions, especially of those facing the greatest mental health challenges, and promoting positive mental health,” it added.
The organisation explained that the negligence of mental health issues is a top cause of death, disease and disability, especially for older adolescents.
Adding that negligence of mental health had been a worrisome development before the outbreak of COVID-19, the organisation called on government of nations across the world to take actions towards promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges.
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