Good mental health and psychosocial well-being is essential for children, adolescents, caregivers and communities to thrive. Yet the impacts of COVID-19 are challenging mental health like never before. Even prior to the pandemic, 14 percent of the world’s children and adolescents experienced some form of mental health condition.
Mental health is a global issue, yet stigma and underfunding have limited investment in mental health services and support, particularly in low-income countries. UNICEF knows that anxiety, depression and other stress-related problems threaten children’s ability to grow up healthy and happy. Failure to address mental health and psychosocial issues can stall children’s development and bar them from opportunities to participate meaningfully in society.
The Mental Health in International Development and Humanitarian Settings (MINDS) Act (H.R.3988/S.2105) would support the integration of mental health services in U.S. foreign assistance programming, with a particular focus on children, their families and other vulnerable populations.
Investments in the mental health, resilience and well-being of children and caregivers not only benefit individual families but can also help break cycles of poverty and violence and contribute to more prosperous societies.
Join us in calling on elected officials to prioritize mental health services for children and caregivers in U.S. foreign assistance.