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How parents can start the mental health conversation with their kids #OnMyMind

BTS band members with UNICEF backpacks

UNICEF and pop icons BTS are marking the groundbreaking success of the LOVE MYSELF campaign this week, with the campaign reaching almost every country in the world with positive messages of self-care.

a little girl sits on a woman’s lap

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the mental health of a generation of children. But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long. 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.

child lying down on a bookcase

In collaboration with the renowned Magnum Photos agency, UNICEF presents an in-depth look at the pandemic experiences of children and young people across six countries. We hope you are moved by their stories and join UNICEF in advocating for a renewed global commitment to an inclusive recovery for children everywhere. The future of an entire generation is at stake.

Women carry buckets in their heads and walk along a dirt path with children.

2020 was the hottest year on record. Climate and environmental hazards are having devastating impacts on the well-being and future of children. UNICEF is teaming up with young climate activists to raise awareness about climate change and the need to act.

 A teacher squats in front of a student sitting on the floor in front of a short desk.

A child's first day of school—a landmark moment for the youngest students and their parents around the world—has been delayed due to COVID-19 for an estimated 140 million young minds, according to a new analysis by UNICEF. For an estimated eight million of these students, the wait for their first day of in-person learning has been over a year and counting, as they live in places where schools have been closed throughout the pandemic. For the most vulnerable, their risk of never stepping into a classroom in their lifetime is skyrocketing.

A mother breastfeeding her baby.

UNICEF answers some common questions from new and expecting mothers to help provide the safest experience for you and your baby, about breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three girls with their backpacks on sitting in a classroom

To support the Government of Iraq in its goals to achieve universal and equitable education – especially for forcibly displaced children and youth impacted by years of war and conflict – Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced a new programme that will reach a total of 192,100 girls and boys. The initial US$12.5 million seed-funding grant will reach 36,500 children and youth, 60 per cent of whom are girls. The programme seeks to mobilize US$35.5 million in additional resources.  ECW is the United Nations global fund, administered by UNICEF, for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

baby receiving oral vaccine

23 million children missed out on basic childhood vaccines through routine health services in 2020, the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019. WHO/UNICEF data shows that a majority of countries last year experienced drops in childhood vaccination rates. Up to 17 million children – likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening already immense inequities in vaccine access. Most of these children live in communities affected by conflict, in under-served remote places, or in informal or slum settings where they face multiple deprivations including limited access to basic health and key social services.

No one is safe until everyone is safe. The recent surge of infections in India was a wake up call for the world, as less than 1% of vaccines have reached the developing world. This is why UNICEF is calling on wealthy countries to donate their excess COVID-19 vaccines now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up all sorts of new challenges for parents. Sesame Street’s Grover and UNICEF USA Ambassador Lucy Liu share tips on taking care of yourself and your little ones. Get more tips at UNICEF’s Parenting Hub, which brings together some of the world’s leading baby experts to help you with top tips and fun facts.

A man carries a smiling baby that reaches out to a camera

Affordable, quality childcare is inaccessible in many of the world’s wealthiest countries, according to a new UNICEF report looking at childcare for children between birth and school age.