Open Up & Connect
UNICEF Viet Nam dedicates its World Children’s Day 2023 to the promotion of mental well-being
To mark World Children’s Day 2023 (WCD), UNICEF Viet Nam consulted our U-report network of adolescents and young people on issues most relevant to them. Mental health was the answer selected by most participants. In response, we are focusing this WCD special campaign on providing positive approaches and resources to promote mental well-being and destigmatize mental health issues.
Many things on your mind? Heavy, confusing, scary things?
Depression, anxiety, sadness?
You’re not the only one feeling this way. You don’t need to do this alone.
Open Up & Connect! Share your feelings!
Mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It determines our ability to handle stress, build and manage relationships, and make choices that affect our health. Put simply, being mentally healthy gives us the ability to enjoy life and cope with good and bad days.
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Why is mental health important? What can children do about it?
Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood. Adolescence, especially, is a critical window of opportunity in their development. Poverty, violence, abuse, gender social norms, school pressures, bullying and life stress events can have major impacts on mental health and psychosocial well-being.
Poor understanding of mental health challenges and solutions, social stigma, and limited mental health support and resources are barriers to enjoy mental well-being. Mental and psychosocial well-being are essential for people and communities to thrive. It impacts every aspect of our lives and influences child and adolescent development. Getting it right early means healthy children, resilient lives as adults and future potential parents!
It’s okay not to be okay!
What makes young people worried or unhappy?
Do you have a friend who seems to be sad, confused, scared, lonely?
They might need your help. You can help. Be kind, be a good friend.
Open Up & Connect! Ask your friend how they are doing. A simple talk will help a lot!
Experiencing mental health issues is normal. Life circumstances affect us in different ways, so it’s normal to not feel okay all the time. We all experience mental health issues in life and it’s okay to talk about it. Mental health is as normal and important as physical health —it's okay not to be okay!
No one should have to deal with mental health challenges on their own. Yet too many children and young people do.
Open Up & Connect!
Connect, be supportive
Your teen looks sad, confused, scared, lonely?
They are not the only ones feeling this way and you can help.
Grab opportunities to Open Up & Connect with your children.
Be proud of them. Acknowledge their efforts.
As we do for our children’s physical health, we also need to nurture, care for and promote child mental health by learning more about it and the solutions at hand.
Building resilience and skills among children is fundamental to make them get out, sometimes fail, get up and move forward instead of remaining isolated and fearing failure. Fundamental life skills are self-esteem and confidence, strategic thinking and learning to bounce back from defeat, among others.
Some learning opportunities and activities are very helpful to build resilience and strengthen skills to equip children to manage mental health (and life) challenges. For example, playing sport or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) learning.
UNICEF develops parenting support for mental health programmes to realize the importance of mental health and nurturing care, and to build trust and connections with children through positive parenting skills. This means making space for genuine connections and communication with children and adolescents that promotes effort, acknowledges hard work and sees failure as essential to building resilience.
Agents of change
One of your students looks sad, confused, scared, lonely?
They might be facing mental health issues. You can help.
Open Up & Connect with your students.
Be proud of them. Acknowledge their efforts.
Be supportive. Help students understand that it’s normal to not always be okay. Help them realize they’re not the only ones feeling this way. Make sure that the classroom is a safe and secure environment for every child. Promote kindness and positive peer relationships to reduce bullying and prevent mental health problems.
UNICEF Viet Nam promotes socio-emotional learning at school and provide support to build transferable skills, foster supportive peer relations, create safe school environments, and expand and strengthen school counselling for kids and psychosocial support for students.
We work to ensure that children and adolescents grow up in environments that nurture and enable growth mindset approaches to enhance mental well-being, develop coping skills, and receive youth mental health support when mental health challenges arise.
We work with the government to build a mental health strategy that strengthens youth mental health support nationwide to prevent, recognize and respond to child and adolescent mental health challenges. Ensuring a continuum of services such as child psychiatry services and teen counselling, across sectors is key for children and adolescents to receive the mental health and psychosocial support they need.
Watch these and all videos of our Open Up & Connect campaign on YouTube!