Good mental health and psychosocial well-being are essential for children, adolescents, caregivers and communities to thrive. Yet, 14 percent of the world’s children from the ages of 6-18 experience a mental health condition.
Kids' mental health during COVID-19 has especially suffered due to school closures and interruptions of the services they need to survive and thrive.
The mental health crisis is a global problem, yet stigma and underfunding have limited investment in mental health services and support — especially in countries where it's needed the most. Less than 1 percent of government health budgets in low-income countries is spent on mental health.
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 participating meaningfully in society.
The Mental Health in International Development and Humanitarian Settings Act or the MINDS Act (H.R.1570 / S.767) led by Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) in the House of Representatives and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the Senate, 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.