Spotify and UNICEF support mental health and well-being of young people through the power of audio
A partner since 2022
Spotify and UNICEF are advancing their three-years partnership after joining forces in 2022 to support the mental health and well-being of young people and their caregivers. Through ‘Our Minds Matter’, a co-created youth mental health and well-being destination launched on Spotify, the partners are initially focusing on responding to the urgent mental health needs of young people who have been affected by the war in Ukraine.
Mental health and well-being are fundamental components of a child’s healthy development and future. Today, one in seven adolescents globally experiences a mental health condition, with half of all mental disorders developing before the age of 14, and 75 per cent by the mid-20s.
Spotify and UNICEF know that music and audio can support mental health, and recognize the power of Spotify’s platform to bring resources to people directly where they are. UNICEF and Spotify are advancing their three-year partnership to help ensure young people, including refugees, displaced people and migrants, can access trusted and engaging mental health audio content.
The partnership is combining Spotify’s platform, user reach and content expertise with UNICEF’s mental health evidence-based expertise, programme reach and collaboration experience. When humanitarian emergencies arise, UNICEF is already there,— as the organization bring life-saving help and hope to children and families in over 190 countries and territories. Before the war in Ukraine escalated in 2022, UNICEF had been supporting mental health and psychosocial support interventions for over 2.6 million Ukrainian children and caregivers.
To start, the Spotify and UNICEF partnership is focusing on responding to the urgent mental health needs of young people who have been affected by the war in Ukraine. During the next stages of the partnership, the opportunities to expand the impact of the platform across other emergency and non-emergency contexts around the world will be explored.
“Our goal in partnering with UNICEF is to help young people, including refugees and migrants, find the support they need to optimize their mental health and well-being online and offline,” said Elizabeth Nieto, Vice-President, Global Head of Equity and Impact, at Spotify. “Our collaboration will particularly focus on harnessing the power of music, audio and other innovative digital content to deliver trusted and engaging mental health content for young people, their caregivers, and communities.”
“Children and young people are our future, and we need to invest in the critical mental health support they need, particularly for those who have fled their homes. Failure to invest leaves them vulnerable to greater distress and missing out on life chances, limiting their potential,” said Carla Haddad Mardini, Director of UNICEF’s Division of Private Fundraising and Partnerships. “Businesses have a crucial role to play in raising awareness and driving investment and action. Thank you, Spotify, for showing global leadership on mental health, and I encourage others to do the same.
Spotify has also joined the Global Coalition for Youth Mental Health, founded by UNICEF with the support of the Z Zurich Foundation. The coalition’s work aims to mobilize public and private sector investment and action to promote youth mental health.
Providing evidence-based resources for mental health and well-being.
The Spotify and UNICEF partnership will kick off with the youth mental health and well-being destination, ‘Our Minds Matter’, on Spotify, where can access a combination of existing music and talk playlists. These engaging playlists can provide support for a wide range of mental health and well-being needs – and give young people resources right at their fingertips.
Understanding the everyday mental health needs of young people directly affected by the war in Ukraine is key to being able to support them. That is why UNICEF, with support from Spotify, has been collaborating with a group of Ukrainian and Polish youth to co-create a new youth-informed, evidence-based mental health podcast called “‘On My Mind”. Season 1 will be available initially in Ukrainian, Polish and English, with new languages coming online later. The partnership’s objective is to make sure young people in Ukraine, Poland and elsewhere have easily accessible resources that speak to them and support them, on the platform where they are already listening to their favourite music.
From episodes on breaking down the stigma of talking about mental health and ways to manage anxiety, on nurturing healthy relationships, coping with stress, and connecting with family, and on self-care and handling grief and loss, this co-created podcast will support progress in improving access to mental health services and fostering a nurturing environment for young people. Spotify and UNICEF will work together to co-create, adapt, digitize and translate additional mental health content and continue to curate new music and talk playlists that support mental health and well-being to be featured on this platform. Moreover, Spotify will explore opportunities to co-create pro- bono audio ads with UNICEF mental health messaging, subject to the availability of ad inventory.
Capturing learnings and incorporating new services and content
Both Spotify and UNICEF acknowledge the importance of measuring the impact of the partnership to understand where the need is greatest and how to provide the most effective results. After implementation, the partners will work together to understand the impact of the new innovative modality for delivering mental health support and explore how this partnership can support on-the-ground programming, including the use of music, sound, and other innovative mental health interventions.
Spotify transformed music listening forever when it launched in 2008. Discover, manage and share over 80 million tracks, including 4.7 million podcasts, for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features for music including improved sound quality and an on-demand, offline, and ad-free music listening experience. Today, Spotify is the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with 456 million users, including 195 million subscribers, across 183 markets.
- Ref: Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx)
- Ref: Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. (2005). Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62 (6) pp. 593-602. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.6.593.
Last updated on 28 June 2023