Focus on children's mental health, WHO urges African leaders

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Unlike costly physical illnesses like cancer, where expenses are largely hospital-based, mental health costs are often indirect, such as not being able to work.

The neglect of mental health provision for children, the Cinderella service that promised parity of esteem...

A mental health screening programme will also be added for athletes and staff who are joining and leaving elite set-ups.

The PM will place particular focus on the mental health of young people.

Three and a half years on, however, report after report has revealed what any young person waiting desperately for therapy or support could confirm instantly: not much has changed.

Manager of the Mental Health Unit at the Ministry of Health Ashvini Nath said the ministry is happy to collaborate with CreateBetterMinds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years old.

The harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents were also identified as contributing to risky behaviours such as violence, unsafe sex and dangerous driving. For many, these can be times of stress and anxiety, and these feelings can lead to serious mental illness if they are not recognised and managed in time.

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"A child can suffer huge stress due to small reasons like getting scolded or bullied in school, disputes between parents and even day-to-day pressure like forcing for a haircut", said Dr Arjun Raj Kunwar, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Kanti Children's Hospital.

In similar vein, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki in commemoration of the day in Benin decried the attitude of many societies towards people having mental health problems and called for a change.

"The Commission calls out the shameful and shocking treatment of people with mental ill health around the world", said Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet.

"The hope is to get people excited about taking care of their mental health and themselves overall".

'We want to bring attention to the issues our youth and young adults are facing in our world today and begin the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy and resilient, ' writes the World Federation for Mental Health.

'As we watch the news, scroll the internet and talk to family and friends around the world, it's apparent that instability, violence and constant traumatic events are becoming daily occurrences, ' said WFMH president Professor Alberto Trimboli.

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