Abstract

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.

Rights

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite as

Maclachlan, A., McMellon, C. & Inchley, J. 2022, 'Public mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on children’s rights', International Journal of Human Rights. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2022.2057958

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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