8% of children in the MENA suffer from depression and anxiety
About 8% children, below 19 years of age, suffer from depression and anxiety – two of the most common mental illnesses reported in the MENA region, a WISH report has revealed.
Meanwhile, 2.5% children suffer from behavioural disorder and hyperactivity disorder, while 1.5% suffer from autism and Asperger’s, according to the report titled ‘Healthy Young Minds Transforming The Mental Health Of Children’.
The report, as published by The Peninsula, states a variety of social and economic factors that affect children’s mental wellbeing such as their physical health, quality of nutrition, wealth and poverty, discrimination, war and conflict.
It further states: “Early intervention is crucial. Mental health problems need to be tackled when they first appear. They need to be recognized by parents, doctors and teachers, and our whole society needs to become much more open and matter-of-fact about what is a common part of life.
Our schools need to adopt children’s wellbeing as one of their major objectives – both in their ethos and their teaching. Life skills can and should be taught as professionally as mathematics or literature.”