Young Nigerians Facing Mental Health Challenges, As Anxiety To Succeed Mounts – Survey

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By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos

Globally, children and young people in Nigeria are under the most pressure to succeed, and this urge has given rise to depression among them, a survey has said.
For example, one in six young Nigerians aged 15-24 say they often feel depressed, have little interest in doing things, or are worried, nervous and anxious, according to the survey.
The new international survey conducted by by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Gallup was released ahead of World Children’s Day which is marked annually on 20th November.
“As much as 85 per cent say they feel a greater pressure to succeed than their elders – the highest of all 21 countries surveyed, with young people in Lebanon a close second” the researchers narrated.
The poll named: “The Changing Childhood Project,” is, according to the survey, the first of its kind to ask multiple generations for their views on what it is like to be a child in this present time.
“It surveyed more than 21,000 people in 21 countries, including Nigeria, UNICEF stated in a news statement titled: “Landmark Poll Shows Nigerian Children Feel Under Most Pressure to Succeed Globally.”
The research report noted that “in the area of finances, young Nigerians again showed a high level of concern, with 14 per cent of females and 66 per cent males worried that they don’t have enough money.”
The survey which was conducted during Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic examined young people’s opinion about their mental health, world view, trust in institutions, importance of equality, climate change and digital benefits and risks, among others.
“Children and young people in Nigeria clearly have a high level of concern about many and varied issues, compared to their peers in other countries,” UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, said. “We cannot bury our heads in the sand and hope these concerns will go away. We need to take action. And the first thing is to solicit their views, really listen closely and allow their concerns and ideas to influence our policy decisions.”
The UNICEF chief stressed that the future of Nigeria belongs to its children and young people, and, therefore, maintained that they have the right to be heard, have their needs addressed and their solutions explored.
“It is only through commitment and investing more in our children and young people’s presents and futures that we can maximize every child’s potential and ensure they have a full and happy life,” Hawkins highlighted in the news release dated 20th November 2021.

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