Save The Children, 2020
School closings, sick friends and family members, isolation at home – these and other factors can cause
anxiety and stress for children during a crisis, including a global health pandemic or conflict. This guide aims to increase children’s resilience and wellbeing through activities that can be done in the
home with a little support from parents and caregivers. The activities outlined in this book will support
stress management, emotional learning, creativity, parent/caregiver – child relationships, relaxation and
problem-solving techniques, allowing open discussions around difficulties while also increasing individual capacity to cope in fun and creative ways.
“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.
Stanford Medicine, 2020
This video is an adaptation of the children’s book, My Hero is You, released in early 2020 to help educate children around the world about COVID-19. The original book was created by mental health and psychosocial support experts from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the highest-level humanitarian coordination forum of the United Nations.
A team, led by Stanford Medicine’s Maya Adam, adapted the story into a short animated film, with input and oversight from the IASC Mental health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The film aims to convey messages of hope, resilience, solidarity, and empowerment to children and their caregivers around the world.
Blue Seat Studios, 2020
Consent is like being ruler of your own country…population: YOU. This is a smart, playful guide to consent and bodily autonomy. There is an upcoming book, based on this video that’s packed with bright and energetic illustrations. Readers will learn about boundaries and how to set them; signs of healthy (and unhealthy) relationships; ways to respect themselves and others; how to spot grooming behaviors; what to do if someone makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe; and much more. Along the way, they’ll be encouraged to reflect on (and improve!) their own behavior and to practice consent in their daily lives. Whether you’re looking for a consent primer to share with a friend or searching for a way to talk to your child about what it means to be in control of their own body and respect others’, look no further! This humorous and insightful book from the co-creator of the viral “Tea Consent” video is the perfect teaching tool, conversation starter, and insightful, empowering resource for educators, kids, and families everywhere.
You can see the video here.
For the past two decades, there has been substantial debate about whether there are qualitatively different symptom profiles that can develop in children from different types of traumatic events and life circumstances. The term “complex trauma” is often used to describe both the presumed causes and the consequences of exposure to traumatic stressors when the child has experienced other significant adversities and is manifesting more severe clinical presentations. The interest in an additional descriptive term or diagnosis has been fueled by trauma-focused treatment trials pointing to the fact that the experiences of many children involve more than the trauma and more than trauma-specific symptoms (e.g., children in foster care, residential treatment, juvenile justice). Efforts to classify these clinical presentations have included a proposed Developmental Trauma Disorder (Ford, et al, 2013).
United Nations, 2020
Although the COVID-19 crisis is, in the first instance, a physical health crisis, it has the seeds of a major mental health crisis as well, if action is not taken. Good mental health is critical to the functioning of society at the best of times. It must be front and centre of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.
Psychological distress in populations is widespread. Many people are distressed due to the immediate health impacts of the virus and the consequences of physical isolation. Many are afraid of infection, dying, and losing family members. Individuals have been physically distanced from loved ones and peers. Millions of people are facing economic turmoil having lost or being at risk of losing their income and livelihoods. Frequent misinformation and rumours about the virus and deep uncertainty about the future are common sources of distress. A long-term upsurge in the number and severity of mental health problems is likely.
Kirollos, Mariam; Anning, Caroline; Fylkes Knag, Gunvor; Denselow, James, Save the Children International, 2018
This report identifies concerning trends for the safety and wellbeing of children living in areas impacted by conflict, through analysis of the United Nations Annual Reports of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) and new research by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). The research utilizes figures that are published, independently verified and credible, but one of the key findings of the data mapping process is that there is a significant and worrying gap in child-specific data in conflicts.
Although all warring parties are obliged to protect children, in conflicts around the world heinous attacks are committed against children on a daily basis, for which the perpetrators are not being held to account. What is more, many of these violations are increasing, driven bybrutal conflicts like the war in Syria. There is an urgent need for action to end what is too often a war on children.
Save the Children, April 2020
COVID-19’s rapid spread poses particular challenges for vulnerable populations, especially migrants and displaced (M&D) children. Over 180 countries – and rising – have identified cases of COVID-19, and migration is often cited as the reason for its spread. It is apparent that certain characteristics of displaced populations such as higher risk of contagion, high mobility, and being difficult to reach, present suitable conditions for a rapid outbreak of COVID-19 – at huge risk to M&D children and to the surrounding communities. It is clear that the cost of not prioritising M&D populations is likely to be catastrophic.
Save the Children’s Programme Framework explicitly recognises the acute vulnerability of migrant and displaced communities and suggests a number of possible programmatic interventions. This paper, developed by the TWG on Protecting the Rights of M&D Children, the MDI and Geneva Advocacy office, aims to provide further complementary analysis, suggested text for proposal and project design, and technical guidance to SC colleagues.
UNICEF, WHO, IFRC, 2020
The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operations through the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 in schools and other educational facilities. The guidance, while specific to countries that have already confirmed the transmission of COVID-19, is still relevant in all other contexts. Education can encourage students to become advocates for disease prevention and control at home, in school, and in their community by talking to others about how to prevent the spread of viruses. Maintaining safe school operations or reopening schools after a closure requires many considerations but, if done well, can promote public health.
The document includes facts on COVID-19, information to school administrators, teachers and staff, parents/caregivers and community members as well as on age-specific health education with the aim to promote safe and healthy schools.
More than a decade after it was presented to the United Nations General Assembly, Graça Machel’s report on the agony of children trapped in armed conflict remains the definitive assessment of the issue. It has continuously roused moral outrage and has been a foundation for programming and advocacy.
The changing nature of contemporary armed conflict cries out for a different approach, one that no longer focuses on particular countries or themes but on the totality of issues affecting children caught in armed conflict, a point captured in Mrs. Machel’s study. That is the central message of this 10-year strategic review, and it grows out of Mrs. Machel’s powerful insight that “war violates every right of the child.” We cannot hope to move forcefully on behalf of children in conflict until we turn our attention to all impacts, on all children, in all situations affected by conflict. The organization of this report aims to heighten our understanding of the myriad ways in which armed conflict affects children – and how children regard their participation not only in war but in programmes aimed at preventing violence against them and in promoting their recovery and reintegration.