Covid has spiked mental health issues among marginalized children in India: report

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While the Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on all, children belonging to the most marginalized section of India have been most affected as it has led to their increased isolation, significantly affecting their mental health, according to a report. released on Tuesday.

The report by the non-profit organization Save the Children-Bal Raksha Bharat showed an increase in feelings of loneliness, anxiety, anger, grief, substance abuse and sexual abuse among children.

Around 44% of children said they could not share their feelings of grief/anger/stress with anyone and three out of four children could not share serious issues such as domestic/marital violence with anyone .

Isolation from the peer group has had a major impact on the mental well-being of children with an increase in cases of child labor and substance abuse as they struggle to cope with a lack of coping mechanisms to express their feelings and thoughts.

This situation was further aggravated by the fact that, according to the parents, the children were out of school and lacked learning opportunities at home (61%).

Most children (39%) worried about death, illness, separation from a loved one, or fear of illness.

Feelings of loneliness (59%) and worry about death, illness, separation or illness (83%) were highest in Karnataka, while sleep disturbances were mostly reported in Delhi ( 51%) while physical combat was maximal in Jharkhand (42%).

A significant number of children also reported abuse, as they noted fear of being left alone with a certain person (27%), sudden emotional or behavioral change (27%), abandonment of gambling habits (29%), genital disorders/anal injuries (15%).

“The Covid 19 lockdown has not only resulted in reduced socialization between people, but also increased the intensity of different emotions felt by parents and children. This has resulted in a complex array of challenges that have had impact on the mental health of children and adolescents,” said Anindit Roy Chowdhury. , program director, Save the Children, in a statement.

For the report, 4,052 respondents (2,743 adults and 1,309 adolescents) across 24 districts in six states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam, were interviewed between June 2020 and December 2021.

–IANS

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(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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