UNICEF flags long term impact of COVID on youth in India

Children at higher risk of neglect, abuse, reports survey of 21 countries

Updated - October 05, 2021 06:19 pm IST

Published - October 05, 2021 06:15 pm IST - NEW DELHI

“Research indicates some increases in stress and anxiety among children and adolescents. The mental health of caregivers, especially young mothers, is also a concern,” states the report. Representational Image.

“Research indicates some increases in stress and anxiety among children and adolescents. The mental health of caregivers, especially young mothers, is also a concern,” states the report. Representational Image.

Mental health issues in developing countries like India have been on the rise, noted Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday while releasing the UNICEF ’s global flagship publication: “The State of the World’s Children 2021; On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health”.

The report was launched globally, and in the survey across 21 countries, only 41% of young people in India said it is good to seek support for mental health problems, compared to an average of 83% across all countries surveyed.

“Children and young people in India could feel the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and well-being for many years to come,” noted UNICEF its report.

Social stress test

Speaking on the occasion the Union Health Minister said COVID-19 was a test of mental stress for the entire society.

“It is very vital to address mental health as an important aspect for creating a healthy society and teachers are very important stakeholders for addressing mental health issues along with parents and family. Family and teachers should have open consultation with children from a position of mutual trust and respect,” said the Minister.

Presenting the key findings of the report, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, said the survey found that around14% of those aged 15 to 24 in India, or 1 in 7 reported often feeling depressed or having little interest in doing things.

“Children have not only been living an emotional tragedy, many are also at a higher risk of neglect and abuse,” she added.

The report notes that there is wide concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.

“Research indicates some increases in stress and anxiety among children and adolescents. The mental health of caregivers, especially young mothers, is also a concern,” states the report.

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