Importance of mental health measurement to improve global adolescent health

July 27, 2021

Despite the crucial importance of adolescent mental health, measurement at the population level remains fragmented and incomplete in many countries. For example, quality data on mental disorders are only available for less than 10% of the world’s adolescents. This lack of data is an important barrier to action globally and nationally, hampering implementation of targeted interventions. It also hinders monitoring of exacerbating global mental health inequities and of progress of any investments made with respect to policies, programs, services, and ultimately mental health outcomes.

To address these issues, two initiatives have been established in recent years. UNICEF and partners are leading the Measurement of Mental health among Adolescents at the population level (MMAP) initiative. The other initiative is the Global Action for Measurement of Adolescent health (GAMA) Advisory Group, led by WHO and supported by Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund, UN Women, the World Bank Group, and the World Food Programme. Together, GAMA and MMAP are addressing the need to prioritize, improve, and better align adolescent mental health measurement.


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