UNICEF Report: Starting Mental Health Conversations with Children

UNICEF’s 2021 #OnMyMind report, has an urgent and strong call to action for organisations to be more proactive in raising the profile of Mental Health and Well-being and challenging the stigma around the topic.

The report contains devastating statistics:

  • An estimated 45,800 adolescents die from suicide each year, or at least 1 person very 11 minutes.
  • Suicide is the fifth most prevalent cause of death for adolescents aged 10–19; for adolescents aged 15–19, it is the fourth most common cause of death, after road injury, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence. For girls aged 15–19, it is the third most common cause of death, and the fourth for boys in this age group.

These findings are consistent with local data. In Malaysia, between March and October 2020, there were 266 suicide cases, 1 in 4 of those involved a young person aged between 15 and 18. That means over 60 young people have lost their lives to suicide in 8 months. *

As a society, we need to take urgent action to address these issues and support parents and teachers to safeguard our children's well-being. No one should deal with mental health challenges alone but starting the conversation can be hard. UNICEF has produced this very useful guide to help parents start a conversation with their children: https://www.unicef.org/mental-health-on-my-mind

We are excited to announce that last month, LeapEd’s Mental Health Literacy programme was a winner in the MyUNICEF Impact Challenge and is now moving to the second phase of the Social Impact Challenge Accelerator (SICA) organised by the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC). Our innovative intervention aims to target mental health literacy amongst teachers, ensuring that they have the skills to help the young people in their care. If you would like to find out more about how LeapEd can work with your organisation on Child Protection and Safeguarding or Mental Health Literacy for Educators, please do get in touch via https://www.leapedservices.com/our-services/child-protection-safeguarding/

* https://www.unicef.org/malaysia/press-releases/mental-health-alert-children-malaysia