According to UNICEF experts, today around the world, every seventh teenager aged 10-19 lives with a diagnosed mental disorder. At least 46 thousand of them die from suicide, which is one of the five leading causes of death in this age group.
The pandemic has left a serious imprint on the mental health of children: quarantines, distance learning, restrictions on routine medical care have significantly worsened the situation, experts say. A survey among young people aged 15-24 in 21 countries showed that, on average, every fifth young person feels depressed and has little interest in doing something.
In addition, at least one in seven children worldwide was directly affected by quarantine measures, and over 1.6 billion children were affected by the loss of education. Learning problems, disturbances in the daily routine, anxiety for the health and financial well-being of the family only worsen the mental health of the younger generation. So, according to an online survey conducted in China at the beginning of the pandemic, about a third of adolescents are constantly experiencing fear or anxiety.
But at the same time, there is still a huge gap between the needs for mental health and public funding for this important area of medicine, the report emphasizes. Today, around the world, no more than 2% of the budget for health care is allocated for the protection of the mental health of citizens.
“The consequences of this are serious, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Even before the pandemic began, too many children were suffering from the burden of unresolved mental health problems, ”said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.