The Global Coalition for Youth Mental Health, led by UNICEF, is calling for greater attention to be paid to the mental health of young people around the world. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, young people’s mental health was an important issue. Now it can no longer be neglected. Countries must invest more in mental health to ensure that young people and caregivers receive the support they need. The private sector has an important role to play here.
Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing are important building blocks for the healthy development of every child. However, an estimated 1 in 7 young people worldwide between the ages of 10 and 19* are living with a diagnosed mental disorder. Almost 46,000 young people die from suicide every year. The pandemic has further exacerbated this already serious situation.
Nevertheless, measures to promote mental health are still severely underfunded around the world, with devastating consequences for both adults and children. We also pay a high economic price for this: Nearly USD 390 billion of human potential is lost globally each year due to the lack of investment.
A call to action
In a new appeal, the Global Coalition for Youth Mental Health is therefore calling on the private sector to play a greater role in promoting young people’s mental health. Specifically, companies should:
- Increase investment in young people’s mental health. Companies are encouraged to support fundraising for young people’s mental health, with a focus on resource-poor and fragile contexts such as the refugee context. Businesses are encouraged to support the global coalition and provide funding for programs to promote young people’s mental health, such as those operated by UNICEF.
- Use their influence to advocate for young people’s mental health via shared networks, platforms and other channels. By joining forces, the private sector can play a key role in raising awareness among business leaders, decision makers and stakeholders and calling on them to act.
- Promote a work culture that prioritizes the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Companies have a responsibility to create respectful, safe and healthy workplaces that support the mental health of employees (and, indirectly, their families).
To the Global Coalition for Youth Mental Health
The Global Coalition for Youth Mental Health was launched by UNICEF in April 2022 with the support of the Z Zurich Foundation. The coalition is a strategic alliance of companies that currently comprises Jo Malone London, Spotify, Zurich Insurance Group and the Z Zurich Foundation as members.
Coalition members pool their resources to advocate for the mental health of young people around the world. They have set themselves the shared goal of promoting young people’s social and emotional skills and creating a supportive environment that will benefit 30 million young people in 30 countries by 2030.
Swiss-based companies who are interested in supporting the coalition should contact Asa Sjöberg-Langner, Head of Partnerships & Philanthropy, UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein: [email protected]