– One in five people between the ages of 15 and 24 regularly suffer from symptoms of depression. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people will be visible for many years, warns in a published UNICEF report summarizing research from 21 countries.
According to the latest figures, more than 13 percent. adolescents are living with a diagnosed mental disorder. Nearly 46,000 teenagers commit suicide every year due to mental illness. It is one of the five most common causes of death in this age group.
– For all of us, especially for children, it was a long 18 months. Due to quarantine and pandemic restrictions, children spend this time away from parts of their family, friends, peers, play and activities, and therefore the key elements of childhood, according to Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director on Twitter.
– The impact of (COVID-19) is huge, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Even before the pandemic, too many children were burdened with neglected mental health problems. Governments are not investing enough resources to seriously address this problem. Fore says surprisingly little attention has been paid to the relationship between mental health and quality of life.
The report states that, on average, only 2 percent. Public health funding is used to address mental health problems. In highly developed countries, per 100,000 On average, there are just over five psychiatrists specializing in the problems of children and adolescents. In the rest of the world, there is only one child psychiatrist per million inhabitants.
For too long, in both poor and rich countries, mental health has been misunderstood and underinvested. That must change, ”said Henrietta Fore, quoted in the report.
The London School of Economics estimates that mental disorders account for $ 390 billion in global economic losses each year.