COVID-19 and Children's Mental Health
2nd Edition of Webinar series on COVID-19 and Children's Rights
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the well-being of children in many ways: isolation, fear, school closures, lack of socialization, illness or bereavement of family members, parental fatigue and stress, exposure to screens, lack of physical activity and others have had a significant impact on their mental health.
Health and social services follow-up was severely disrupted and the children faced immense emotional challenges. Some pre-existing situations of discomfort were exacerbated by the confinement measures. In addition, cyber-bullying, online sexual abuse and the circulation of images of abuse have increased significantly.
In consultations with children during the pandemic, many of them reported anxiety and even explicitly spoke of depression. World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe’s figures show that suicide is the leading cause of death among young people in low- and middle-income countries of the Region, and the second-leading cause in high-income countries, and that about 9 million European adolescents suffer from mental disorders. Every day 3 teenagers in Europe lose their lives due to mental health difficulties. According to Unicef, half of all mental disorders occur before the age of 15.
The second webinar in a series of webinars organised by the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child (CDENF) on COVID-19 and Children's Rights,took place online on 22 November 2021 (10:30-12:00 CET) and was broadcasted live. It brought together CDENF members, participants, observers and other experts for an in-depth exchange of views on the topic of "Children's mental health care" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective was to take stock and jointly reflect on the increasing needs created by the pandemic and develop guidance on:
- How to address the different ways in which children's mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Good practices established by States for the management and prevention of adverse mental health effects in children’
- Guidelines for respecting children’s right to access to mental health.
COVID -19 and Children's mental health: main challenges
- Mr Dainius Pūras, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health (2014 - 2020)
- Mr David Anthony, Chief of Strategic Planning, Convening and Emerging Issues, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti
When the virtual takes precedence over the real: new screen-related pathologies:
Children’s voices during the pandemic:
- Ms Ally Dunhill, Head of Advocacy, Eurochild
- Ms Kristen Hope Burchill, Research, Advocacy and Participation Advisor, Terre des Hommes