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More children, youth seeking mental health services in SA: UNICEF report

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The United Nations children’s organisation, UNICEF, says 73% of children and youth in South Africa felt they needed mental health support over the past year.

The latest UNICEF South Africa U-Report poll has revealed that 38% actively sought help.

UNICEF representative in South Africa, Christine Muhigana, says more children and young people are coming forward with what’s troubling them and seeking professional help.

“And very interesting, the positive outcome of this survey is that 67% of the young people that responded said they helped their peers deal with mental health issues. We need to give young people resources and skills so that the movement of you going to see an expert is not seen as something that is shameful. We also need to work on accessibility of mental health services.”

More findings 

In a statement, UNICEF says that around 74% of youth who helped a friend noted that they chatted about their issues.

Others referred their peers to another friend or family member, online help, a counsellor, or a medical facility.

The report also noted that there was still some reluctance from children and young people to seek help or support.

Around 62% said they did not seek help.

Source: SABC news

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