Rettig Group and UNICEF Finland have launched a partnership to improve mental health services for children and adolescents in Nepal

UNICEF has started a three-year programme to improve mental health services for children and adolescents in Nepal. The programme targets children and adolscents who are exposed to both social, cultural and economical challenges, and more recently, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a donation Rettig Group supports UNICEF in scaling up Tele-Mental Health Services in the Karnali province in Nepal.

The three-year programme is launched in November 2021. The main objective is to support children and adolescents in hard-to-reach areas in the Karnali province to access improved mental health information and services through an upgraded Tele-Mental Health Services platform. The programme aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and give concrete help, and to address the lack of mental health professionals and affordable and easily accessible mental health services locally.

Mental health problems are insufficiently recognized and treated in Nepal. Mental health problems of children and young people in Nepal have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that up to 30 % of the country’s population suffers from mental health problems or is highly likely to develop them. At the same time 600 000 adolescents consider suicide every day. To make things worse there are only 130 actively practicing psychiatrists in Nepal, of which three are specialized in children.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severely negative impact on our lives globally among all age groups everywhere. Although children have been less affected physically by the pandemic, the toll on their mental health is being confirmed across the world. It is only now that we start seeing the consequences of the pandemic on our children and youth. Given the substantial impact of childhood health on the future of society at large, we wanted to focus our support on UNICEF that has considerable experience of supporting children and youth globally. We are impressed by the work of UNICEF and happy to be able to support the programme that they have now started in Nepal. We hope this programme can be replicated to reach out to children and adolescents in other countries as well where UNICEF operates,” said Tomas von Rettig, Chairman of Rettig Group.

“UNICEF’s long-term goal is to ensure good mental and psychosocial services for all children and adolescents in Nepal. With the help of Rettig Group we can reach even the most remote regions with expanded mental health services. We are very thankful that Rettig Group has launched this partnership with UNICEF and works with us to promote the rights of all children, including the most vulnerable ones,” said Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director, UNICEF Finland.

Further information:
Tomas von Rettig, Chairman of Rettig Group: Tel. +358 40 745 5276

Rettig Group is a leading Finnish family-owned investment company that creates value for generations through active and responsible ownership. Rettig Group’s core investments are eQ, Purmo Group, SigmaRoc, and Terveystalo. Rettig Group is also increasingly active in financial investments, including private equity fund- and co-investments. www.rettig.fi

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. www.unicef.fi

The World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.