Raipur, 1 December 2021 – The silence around mental health should be broken and stigma removed, says UNICEF Report. mental disorders are often ignored. The State of the World Children (SOWC) 2021 global report warns that the cost of inaction is huge as one in 7 children have mental health issues and about 45,800 adolescents die from suicide each year in the world. The situation has been exacerbated due to the COVID pandemic. “ It is an iceberg we have been ignoring for too long and unless we act, it will have disastrous results for children and societies”. UNICEF calls for increased investment in child and adolescent mental health and psychosocial support on a whole-of-society approach forprevention, promotion and care.
UNICEF’s annual flagship report at the state level was released here today by Mr T S Singhdeo, Chhattisgarh Health and Family Welfare Minister. The minister said there is a need to break the stigma on mental health and provide support to children and families for better life outcomes. “We must all change the way we view mental health issues” he added.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF Chhattisgarh suggested that mental health literacy and mental health first-aid could be imparted to all students in schools in the state through the school health programme. “ UNICEF can support the government in providing psycho-social support to parents, teachers, mitanins, anganwadi workers and others in the state” he added.
Children in India seem reticent to seek support for mental stress, according to a survey conducted by UNICEF and Gallup in early 2021 with 20,000 children and adults in 21 countries. Only 41 per cent of young people between 15 -24 years of age in India said that it is good to get support for mental health problems, compared to an average of 83 per cent for 21 countries.
• Chhattisgarh has the highest suicide rate (per one lakh population) among big states in India ( Accidental deaths and suicides report, NCRB, 2021)
• One of 6 adults in India (15 crores) need treatment for mental health disorders in India ( National mental health survey, 2015-16)
• About 20 crore people in India (15%) had mental health disorders in 2017 (Lancet, February 2020)
• India has a) Mental healthcare Act, 2017; b) National mental health policy, 2014; and c) National mental health programme, 1982
• In India, one student commits suicide every hour with about 28 such suicides reported every day (National Crime Records Bureau-NCRB 2018 and 2019).
• Anxiety and depression make up about 40%of the diagnosed mental health disorders.