UNICEF: Battered by pandemic, kids need mental health help

PARIS (AP) — The U.N.’s child protection agency is urging governments to pour more money and resources into preserving the mental well-being of children and adolescents. UNICEF is releasing a report Tuesday that sounds alarms about blows to mental health from the COVID-19 pandemic that have hit poor and vulnerable children particularly hard. UNICEF says it may take years to fully measure how much of a dent the health crisis has made on young people’s mental health. But it calls the impact “significant.” Pandemic-related distress among children and adolescents has jolted some governments into action. France, for instance, has offered free therapy sessions for children and young people. But UNICEF says governments still aren’t spending enough on protecting the mental health of young people.