Children today are experiencing increased loads of stress and anxiety – whether it stems from conflicts, violence in their communities, loss of a loved one, effects of COVID-19 on schooling, or living life on the move. Children simply cannot afford any more stress on their mental health.
Life experiences, either positive or negative, change how people see themselves and the world around them. For children, it also changes how they interact with their parents and guardians, their extended family, and their friends. For children especially, traumatic events can leave lasting negative impacts, even to the point of changing their genetic makeup and passing these changes to the next generation.
14% of children and adolescents worldwide experience mental health disorders
1 in 5 individuals in conflict-affected areas has a mental health disorder
426 million children are living in a conflict-affected area
83% of children reported an increase in negative feelings due to COVID-19
75% of people with mental health conditions in low and middle income countries receive no treatment
>1% of health-related global development assistance has gone to mental health
The Mental Health in International Development and Humanitarian Settings Act or MINDS Act is the first piece of legislation to address mental health and psychosocial support in U.S. foreign assistance. It elevates the need to address this issue while solidifying in law a new position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to oversee the implementation of these critical interventions. The bill supports best practices, lays the groundwork for a U.S. government global mental health strategy, and emphasizes the needs of vulnerable populations – including children in adversity, those living in poverty and conflict zones, women and girls, and other marginalized communities.
Let's ensure that vulnerable children are protected from everything that affects their ability to thrive and succeed, including through ongoing mental health support. Please ask your elected official to join the MINDS Act as an original cosponsor in the 117th Congress.
This act has been introduced in the House and Senate, but still needs to be passed! Add your voice to help us get there, and check back here for updates.
House: H.R. 3988
Date Introduced: 7/26/2021
Number of Cosponsors: 11
Date Passed: --
Senate: S. 2105
Date Introduced: 6/17/2021
Number of Cosponsors: 0
Date Passed: --