Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the “Leading Minds for Children and Young People” conference taking place in Florence, Italy, from 7 to 9 November:
I am pleased to address this conference and I welcome your focus on the mental health of children and young people.
Indeed, this is a global crisis. Up to 20 per cent of adolescents suffer from mental health disorders, depression or anxiety. Suicide is a leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 19. Young lives lost, vast potential gone. Incalculable suffering.
For too long, the world has neglected this challenge. We need to end stigma around mental health. We need new research and new investments. And we need to listen and learn from young people, especially those living with mental illness. Together, let us find solutions so that no child suffers in silence.
The United Nations stands with you. Thank you.