All children have a right to mental health and wellbeing
Worldwide, 10-20% of children and adolescents have a mental health condition. 1 in 5 individuals living in conflict have mental health disorders. Children who have fled Ukraine are struggling with their mental health, with more than one in two children surveyed feeling anxious or worried about their future.
For years, Save the Children has responded to the unique needs of children impacted by conflict and displacement. In the wake of the pandemic, we've worked around the clock to help to address the immediate and long-term threats of COVID-19, including the devastating toll on children’s mental health globally.
With current support for children’s mental health needs in conflicts is woefully inadequate, Save the Children is proud to support proud the MINDS Act, bipartisan legislation that would promote mental health and psychosocial support as a key component of U.S. foreign assistance. Join us - Tell Congress to pass the MINDS Act by visiting our political advocacy arm – Save the Children Action Network – and sending a message to Congress.
Conflict can affect children indirectly. It can even impact children who are not experiencing it firsthand.
Even if they are not physically harmed by violence, children can experience toxic stress from witnessing violence, hearing attacks, fleeing their homes. Any child who has been displaced has experienced loss.
Displacement means a child will have lost secure access to food, shelter, health care, and protection.
Not all children who experience trauma are traumatized—and we must acknowledge and respect that they are active participants in their lives.
Some children will be traumatized. They may act out, experience increased anxiety, or have internalizing effects such as stomach aches, urinary incontinence, or trouble sleeping.
Getting children back to school and play—and quickly—is key to supporting their resilience.
Children are under increasing emotional and psychological pressure as they bear the brunt of the world's worsening crisis.
Daria and her mother left Ukraine to escape the deadly conflilct but their escape to Poland was not easy. "We were in a bomb shelter," her mother explains, "and from there we went to Lviv by an evacuation train. We were in such a nervous state, not knowing where we were going."
After arriving in Poland, Daria began attending a summer camp supported by Save the Children, where she learned Polish and received mental health support.
Language barriers, disruption to daily routines, and getting used to new places can impact children's mental health.
"Thanks to being at the camp, I have met new friends," she said, "I have spent more time communicating with others."
Rahima* was top of her class and loved going to school, but when the economic crisis in Afghanistan intensified and her family struggled to eat, her parents were forced to arrange her engagement to an older man.
Shortly after the engagement, Rahima dropped out of school and stopped talking to her family and friends.
“I was lost," said Rahima, a"nd there was pressure from every side - the conflict and pressures from my family - and I became disillusioned about continuing my education. Now I’m slowly improving, and this has happened because of Save the Children’s support. Rasheeda is like my teacher; she has helped me a lot.”
- Slide 1
- Slide 2
Thank you for signing up! Now, you’ll be among the first to know how Save the Children is responding to the most urgent needs of children, every day and in times of crisis—and how your support can make a difference. You may opt-out at any time by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of any email.