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State of the World’s Children Report 2021



  • GS 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.



  • Recently, UNICEF has released The State of the World’s Children 2021. The report details the significant impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health.


Key points

  • State of the World Children’s Report 2021 theme- ‘On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health’.
  • The State of the World’s Children 2021 examines child, adolescent and caregiver mental health.
  • It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments in the life course and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being.
  • It calls for commitment, communication and action as part of a comprehensive approach to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges.


State of the World's Children Report 2021_3.1


Key findings with respect to India

  • Among the adolescents, 7% of the Indian population are overweight as compared to the world average of 24%.
  • 14% of adolescents felt depressed or had little interest in doing things.
  • Only 41% adolescents were willing to get support on mental health.
  • At least 50 million children faced mental health issues before COVID. And among them 80-90% have not sought support.
  • India spent only 0.05% of its health budget on mental health.


Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission


Government steps on mental health

  • National Mental Health Program (NMHP), 1982: to improve the status of mental health in India, focusing on three main components:
    • Treatment of the Mentally ill,
    • Rehabilitation and
    • Prevention and promotion of positive mental health.
  • The Mental Health Care Act (MHCA) 2017: repealed the Mental Health Act, 1987. It seeks to ensure the person’s rights with mental illness to receive care and live a life with dignity.
  • Decriminalizes suicide under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code: by presuming a suicidal person to be “suffering from severe stress’’. The person will also not subject to any investigation or prosecution.
  • Right to mental healthcare: is provided under the Act to ensure access to mental healthcare facilities to suffering individuals.


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