Public mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on children’s rights

Maclachlan, A. , McMellon, C. and Inchley, J. (2023) Public mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on children’s rights. International Journal of Human Rights, 27(9-10), pp. 1406-1425. (doi: 10.1080/13642987.2022.2057958)

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Restrictions on social and economic activities imposed by governments around the world in response to COVID-19, including the closure of schools and childcare facilities, have had a detrimental impact on children's mental health and wellbeing. Initial responses to support mental health during the pandemic have largely focussed on immediate support and crisis management. However, as governments plan for recovery from the pandemic it is important to focus on the wider determinants of children's mental health including their relationships and the environments and societies in which they live in order to prevent a future global mental health crisis. This narrative review draws on the Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment on the response to COVID-19 in Scotland to evaluate how the measures implemented by the Scottish Government have impacted on children's rights related to the wider determinants of mental health. The review reflects on the indivisibility of both children's rights and the different aspects of children's lives, particularly when considering issues such as mental health. Using the Scottish context as an exemplar, it highlights the value of a rights-based framework for providing a holistic view that can inform preventative approaches to support better mental health among children in the future.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Authors time for this work was supported by the Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health (TRIUMPH) Network, which is part of the Cross-Disciplinary Mental Health Network Plus initiative supported by UK Research and Innovation [UKRI][grant number ES/S004351/1]. It is also supported by core-funding from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow [grant numbers MC_UU_00022/1 and SPHSU16].
Keywords:Children’s rights, mental health, public health, COVID19, pandemic.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMellon, Dr Christina and Maclachlan, Dr Alice and Inchley, Dr Joanna
Authors: Maclachlan, A., McMellon, C., and Inchley, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:International Journal of Human Rights
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1744-053X
Published Online:05 May 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Human Rights 27(9-10):1406-1425
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303369Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health (TRIUMPH) NetworkJoanna InchleyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/S004351/1SHW - MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit
3048230011Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048230061Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU16HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit