Children Health

The State of the World’s Children 2021

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the disruption to routines, education, recreation, as well as concern for family income and health, is leaving many young people feeling afraid, angry and concerned for their future.

“Even if you are ambitious, you will not be able to achieve your ambitions because you are psychologically totally defeated.”

– An adolescent girl in Egypt

Even before the pandemic, psychosocial distress and poor mental health afflicted far too many children. In 21 countries, roughly 1 in 5 young people aged 15-24 said they often feel depressed or have little interest in doing things, according to a UNICEF and Gallup global survey, part of the forthcoming Changing Childhood project. Those most at risk include the millions who are forced from their homes, scarred by conflict and serious adversity, and deprived of access to schooling, protection and support.

“When I think about everyone that has died because of the disease it makes me sad, and when I learn the number of cases is increasing, it makes me stressed.”

– An adolescent boy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that children’s and adolescents’ mental health is profoundly affected by their surroundings and circumstances – their experiences with parents and caregivers, their friendships and how they play, learn and grow.


Go in depth with UNICEF’s report, Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19


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