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June 6, 2020

Young minds

Newspost

 
June 6, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic will adversely affect the mental health and psychological well-being of vast swathes of society. For many children, there is no school, no meetups, no sports activities. Many have to live through the severe distress of parents losing jobs, getting sick and feeling helpless. Even without an epidemic, 10 to 20 percent of youngsters and adolescents worldwide experience psychological disorders, with half beginning by the age of 14.

We know that this pandemic will have a long-lasting, though subtle, negative impact on children and their families. The longer this outbreak lasts, and therefore the more restrictive response measures become, the deeper the effect is going to be on children’s learning, behaviour, and emotional and social development. Now, more than ever, Unicef is looking for collective action from governments, donors and doctors to deal with the complex and diverse mental-health and psychosocial needs of youngsters and their families. This starts with taking note of children’s concerns and prioritising their needs.

Usama Sarfraz

Rawalpindi