Health is a foundational investment in a country’s human capital. Will a child live to celebrate her fifth birthday and be ready to attend school? Will she actually be able to learn and thrive in school? Will she grow to be an adult who can productively contribute to the society in which she lives? All of this depends on robust health and nutrition, at every stage in her life.
Human Capital Project
Many of us have vivid memories of the joy and excitement of young adulthood, but this can also be a time of stress, apprehension and fear of the unknown. For many young people, this unease can lead to acute anxiety, severe depression or substance use disorders, if not recognized and managed.
Young people living in environments where they face death and suffering daily, such as in West Africa during the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2015, in post-tsunami or earthquake-affected areas, or in countries experiencing extended conflict and violence, are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.
This year’s World Mental Health Day, on Oct. 10, recognizes this critical time in life with the theme “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.” Many changes occur during adolescence and the early years of adulthood, but they are not always acknowledged or treated.