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One in 7 adolescents worldwide has a mental health problem

More than one in seven adolescents aged 10-19 worldwide has a diagnosed mental health problem, and nearly 46,000 adolescents commit suicide each year, making it one of the top five causes of death for this age group.

This is reflected in the UNICEF annual report on the situation of children in the world, released today and this time focused on mental health.

The “State of the World’s Children 2021. In my mind: promoting, protecting and caring for the mental health of children” is the most complete analysis made by Unicef ​​on this matter and reveals that before the covid-19 childhood and youth they already suffered from these problems “Without making the necessary investments to solve them.”

Only about 2% of government health budgets are allocated to mental health worldwide, denounces this United Nations agency.

Little interest in doing any kind of activity

According to the first results of an international survey conducted by Unicef ​​and Gallup among children and adults in 21 countries, which is ahead of the “State of the World’s Children 2021”, an average of one in five young people between 15 and 24 years surveyed He said he often feels depressed or has little interest in doing some kind of activity.

In Spain, the results of the survey reveal that 58.3% of young people between 15 and 24 years old acknowledge feeling worried, nervous or anxious “often” and 36.1% “sometimes”. In addition, 11.5% say that and 68.2% “sometimes”.

Despite the fact that the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and emotional well-being of Spanish children and adolescents is “undeniable”, the United Nations agency affirms that, if they have the appropriate environment and tools, “most they will be able to normalize their lives and have a positive evolution ”.

However, there are especially vulnerable groups, such as those who already had a previous disorder, victims of violence, those who suffered isolation, separation and / or grief due to covid-19, those who are at risk of child poverty, and children migrants and asylum seekers.

In Spain it is also very present although it is observed that children and adolescents themselves are beginning to speak more and more openly about how they feel and about their needs ”, the study states.

To end this taboo, Unicef ​​Spain recalls that there must be a National Policy on Mental Health for Children and Adolescents, as recommended by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

More than 1.6 billion children have suffered a loss in education

As COVID-19 approaches its third year, the consequences for the mental health and emotional well-being of children and young people, the report adds.

Thus, at least one in seven children was directly affected by lockdowns around the world and more than 1.6 billion suffered some loss in their education. The alteration of routines, education and leisure, as well as the concern of families for income and health, make many young people feel fear, anger and concern for their future, summarizes the document.

Losses from mental disorders

Diagnosed mental problems, such as intellectual disability disorder and schizophrenia, can significantly impair the health, education, living conditions, and earning capacity of children and young people.

Although the impact on children’s lives is incalculable, a new analysis by the London School of Economics and Political Science, which is also included in the report, reveals that economic losses due to mental disorders leading to disability or death among young people they are estimated at almost 335,000 million euros (388,000 million dollars).

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