By: Natasha Archary
Childline will be launching a Mental Health Matters For Kids campaign in schools after noting an increase in emotional abuse. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, emotional abuse rose to over 100% according to Childline SA.
More than 65% of children and youth between 10 and 24-years of age are struggling with mental health and not seeking help.
Childline hopes the campaign will prevent a mental health pandemic among SA children.
Through the use of online therapy-based and motivational talks, the organisation aims to improve mental health in children at school.
Project Head for the campaign Neli Manzi shared with eNCA that the pandemic has impacted children’s mental health.
The latest UNICEF U-report poll indicated poverty, the Covid-19 pandemic and a sense of helplessness are the key factors impacting mental health in the youth.
According to Neli, Childline also found a huge increase in calls since the pandemic, with an increase in emotional abuse calls at over 170%.
Domestic violence calls rose by 156%, suicidal calls by a staggering 132% and psychological calls at an 200%. All these call where placed by children and youth who reached out to Childline.
The Mental Health Matters For Kids campaign will be rolled out across schools in the country. Both primary and high school learners will benefit from the campaign.