CollectiveMINDS: UNICEF and América Solidaria launch game co-created with adolescents to talk about mental health
In Latin America and the Caribbean, almost 16 million children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 live with a mental health condition
PANAMA CITY, 10 October 2023 - As a part of the Fifth Global Mental Health Summit held in Argentina, UNICEF and América Solidaria, together with the Regional Network of Youth for Mental Health and the Concausa Network, launched CollectiveMINDS. The campaign aims to promote conversation and break down stigmas about mental health through an innovative card game.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, almost 16 million children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 live with a mental health condition, affecting both their health and education, as well as their ability to reach their full potential. To address this issue that may go unnoticed, CollectiveMINDS is a campaign co-designed with adolescents that seeks to create safe spaces to talk about mental health, understand the risks and protective factors and propose solutions as a community.
“The state of mental health of children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean is alarming. According to UNICEF figures, 1 in 7 children and adolescents live with a diagnosed mental health condition, while suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents between 15 and 19 years old. This situation was exacerbated by the pandemic and access to mental health care remains a challenge for many of them, especially the most vulnerable. For UNICEF, the active participation of children and adolescents is key to breaking down taboos and opening conversations about their emotional, physical and mental well-being. That is why this game proposes talking about mental health as a collective responsibility of society as a whole, not just as individuals,” said Garry Conille, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
CollectiveMINDS is a card game that also opens conversations between families and caregivers, who require access to adequate support so that they can provide nurturing care and positive parenting to their children. “We at UNICEF take up the motto that adolescents and young people positioned at the summit: ‘Nothing about us, without us’. We are committed to continue supporting the participation of adolescents and young people in the discussion, design and implementation of policies that promote, prevent and guarantee quality mental health care for all children, adolescents and caregivers in the region,” added Conille.
CollectiveMINDS was presented at the Regional Youth Forum, a parallel event to the Global Mental Health Summit, where 17 adolescents and young people from eight countries in the region shared their ideas and concerns about mental health, access to services, youth participation and the impact of climate change on their well-being. “I'm excited to have been involved in creating such an innovative game on a subject that can often be so difficult to address. We believe that it achieves the objective which is to talk about things that affect us, to break the taboo around mental health,” said Ana Paula Ávila, member of the Regional Network of Youth for Mental Health and who participated in the creation of the game.
“At América Solidaria we seek to mobilize adolescents in the region on mental health. With this initiative, we promote interaction between young people, through an entertaining and educational game, while providing resources and content so that teachers can implement the game in different spaces. We cannot face these critical issues alone, which is why we address mental health collectively,” said Soledad Ferrer, Executive Director of América Solidaria Internacional.
Through role play, CollectiveMINDS invites adolescents and young people to reflect on and recognize the factors that influence their well-being, including biographical, cultural and emotional aspects, and to create strategies to positively transform environments and reimagine their realities.
CollectiveMINDS, a unique experience that will allow you to explore your emotions and connect with your friends and family in a special way.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac/en.
About América Solidaria
América Solidaria is an NGO that has been working for 20 years in the American continent promoting the leading role of children and adolescents to exercise and defend their rights. For more information about América Solidaria and its work, visit www.americasolidaria.org