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MIND MATTERS Lessons from past crises for child and adolescent mental health during COVID-19

UNICEF, 2021

“Too many children and young people, rich and poor alike, in all four corners of the world are experiencing mental ill health as we have never seen before. This is the silent emergency of our times. It has no borders and requires urgent attention”.  Henrietta H Fore
One area of child development that is most affected by the pandemic is child and youth mental health and well-being, the umbrella term used to describe psychosocial and emotional wellbeing. Although the term ‘youth mental health’ by itself does not have either a negative or positive connotation, it is used in reference to mental disorders among children and adolescents such as psychosis, anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Concern for youth mental health was rising before the pandemic, with global prevalence rates of common disorders already very high. Although comprehensive data on mental health since COVID-19 struck is hard to come by, emerging data and studies suggest that the pandemic is exacerbating many common mental disorders.

Updated August 30, 2021.