02 September 2022

Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Systems and Services

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to strengthen mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) systems and services for children and young people in the East Asia and Pacific region.  Children, adolescents and caregivers already faced significant challenges in accessing the mental health support they needed before the pandemic, with poor mental health - including depression and anxiety - disproportionately affecting many children and youth in the region.   UNICEF has developed a response to the mental health needs of children and families, and advocates for the engagement of all services and sectors, beyond the health sector alone. To identify how MHPSS can be most effectively implemented both in development and humanitarian settings, UNICEF embarked on a regional research initiative and has produced a framework to guide the provision of multisectoral MHPSS which is holistic and agile and supports the child across the life course.  Involving four countries, the framework outlines the responsibilities and key actions required to provide responsive care for children and adolescents with mental health conditions, prevent mental health conditions in the immediate social context including addressing risk factors for poor mental health, and ensuring a safe and enabling environment to promote positive mental health for communities in the East Asia and pacific region.