You can’t manage what you do not measure: Why adolescent mental health monitoring matters

Better collection and management of mental health data has become a major focus of large research agencies including the US National Institute of Mental Health and the Wellcome Trust. Together they have formed the Common Measures in Mental Health Science Governance board and outlined an initial core list of research questionnaires that should be used by funded researchers. UNICEF has made extensive efforts, in collaboration with academic and institutional partners, including the World Health Organisation, to adapt and validate these common measures for use at the population level in low- and middle-income countries, through the Measurement of Mental health among Adolescents at the Population level (MMAP) initiative .

We believe that, to catalyze sustained, large-scale investment in the science and services that will lead to preventions and cures, funders need to first commit to support for the data generation that will crystallize global knowledge of the crisis. The ultimate metric of impact, of course, is the research-driven reduction of the global burden of mental health conditions, but this impact can only be measured with the sustained funding for projects that will close the data gap.


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