Importance of Mental Health for Underprivileged Children

One oft-neglected aspect of children and their health is their mental health. Mental health is an important aspect of the overall health of children.

Mental health is already stigmatised. People do not openly talk about it. It is no surprise then, that the mental health concerns of poor people, especially underprivileged children do not receive attention. 


Early in 2021, UNICEF and Gallup conducted a survey. The report discovered that 20,000 children, adults, and young people in 21 nations, including India, are hesitant to seek mental stress therapy.

Compared to an average of 83% across 21 other countries, just 41% of young people in India between the ages of 15 and 24 thought that obtaining help for mental health concerns is a good thing.

Poverty and Mental Health

Poverty is a major factor in determining mental health. Children from poor or backward families do not possess the vocabulary to express their mental health. They find even lesser support for mental health from families.

Considering that professional help is expensive and there is a shortage of mental health professionals, children from poor backgrounds are unable to afford therapy. 

Poverty-stricken families experience a unique set of stresses (eg, food insecurity, and housing problems). These pressures may increase parents’ susceptibility to mental health problems and substance abuse, which may limit their capacity to employ effective parenting strategies. This increases the likelihood of child abuse.

Despair and feelings of disadvantage and deprivation cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and sadness among underprivileged children. Too much mental stress especially at a young age can hurt the rest of their lives.

Women, those from lower castes, and people with SMIs suffer the most from poverty as they have the most difficulty getting employment or accessing external assistance.

Such children grow up unable to contribute to their communities or the nation. Unchecked mental illnesses can affect all aspects of the lives of these children and can even lead to the perpetuation of poverty.

Join Fikrah, as we seek to ensure better living conditions and health for underprivileged children.