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COVID-19 Has Exaggerated Children’s Mental Health Issues In India: UNICEF

New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to serious concerns about mental health of children and their families, according to a UNICEF report on mental health titled ‘The States of the World’s Children 2021’.

The report, released in India on Tuesday by Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, says that about 14% of Indians in the age group of 15 to 24, that is 1 in 7, often feel depressed.

The survey, conducted across 21 countries, revealed that just 41% of young people in India were willing to seek guidance for mental health problems, whereas the overall average was 83%.

Also Read: Tele-Counselling For COVID-Impacted Children In Odia & Other Languages

“Mental health has widely been discussed in our Sanatan culture and spirituality. The mutual development of mind and body has been explained in our texts. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. We are very happy that today UNICEF has released a global report on the mental health of children,” Mandaviya said while releasing the report.

“Mental health problem has to be taken seriously. To build a better and developed society, it is necessary to keep monitoring the mental health of children from time to time. For this, arrangements will also have to be made for better mental health of teachers in schools. Because, children trust their teachers the most,” the minister added.

UNICEF India representative Dr Yasmin Ali Haque said we need to encourage children, adults and young people to share their anxiety, depression and bad thoughts. “We can then help them. Addressing this stigma is a huge issue,” she said.

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