Child and Youth

Mental illness stands as the foremost threat to the health, well-being, and productivity of our young people. 

Shockingly, approximately 1 in 5 children and adolescents worldwide live with a mental health condition. Half of all mental health conditions begin by the age of 14 and a staggering 75% of mental health conditions emerge before the age of 25. Over 50% of young people experience at least one episode of mental ill-health before reaching the age of 25 and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among those aged 15-29.

And yet the mental health needs of children and adolescents have frequently been overlooked.

There persists a silent epidemic of stigma, discrimination, and limited access to mental health care and education among young people with mental health conditions.

But a paradigm shift is underway. Young people are already actively advocating for their own mental health. United for Global Mental Health stands with them, urging the international community and national governments to support young people’s mental health and engage young people meaningfully in the process.

As a partner for the Being initiative,  alongside Fondation Botnar, Grand Challenges Canada, the Global Affairs of Canada and the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research we advocate for youth led mental health prevention and promotion. We prioritise creating supportive ecosystems where young people have the means and agency to promote their own mental health. 

Young people play a pivotal role in directly advocating for improved mental health. We push for policymakers to provide platforms that recognise young people as  experts in shaping the global mental health sector.