Unicef: 1 in 7 of world’s young people suffers from mental health disorder
Worldwide, about 1 in 7 young people between the ages of 10 and 18 suffers from mental health problems. That’s according to the study published today by UNICEF: The State of the World’s Children 2021: On My Mind. The United Nations aid agency says the mental health of an entire generation is under threat and can no longer be ignored.
PANDEMIC HAS A MAJOR IMPACT
According to UNICEF, the corona crisis has a major impact on the mental health of many young people. However, psychological problems were also a major problem before the pandemic. For example, suicide is one of the five most common causes of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 19. In Western Europe, it is even the second leading cause of death. The researchers state that young people consider mental health an important topic and that they want to break the taboo surrounding psychological problems to make mental well-being a topic for discussion.
ENVIRONMENT IS EVERYTHING
The research also shows that the family environment, cultural norms, poverty and discrimination influence the mental health of young people, among other things. Despite this, mental illness is treated in many parts of the world as a problem separate from these influences. Director of UNICEF Netherlands Suzanne Laszlo says in a press release that people should become aware that the environment of young people is everything. “For example, a school can be a healthy and inclusive environment where children learn skills to enhance their well-being, but also a place where they experience bullying, racism, discrimination, peer pressure and enormous stress about school performance. This affects their mental well-being”
According to UNICEF, more research needs to be done on the problem among young people and attention should be paid to mental health in many more sectors. “Mental health is an important part of individual health, as well as the foundation for healthy relationships and communities around the world,” said Laszlo.
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