Minding our minds during COVID 19

Colombo/New Delhi, 14 August: In its ongoing efforts to highlight the importance of the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people, UNESCO New Delhi and the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO are launching the Tamil and Sinhala version of the ‘Minding Our Minds’ Posters, on Friday 14 August 2020, from 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm. To watch please follow us on facebook (@unesconewdelhi) as we go live. 

The speakers will include: Prof. G.L. Peiris, M.P., Hon’ble Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka; Dr Meegaswatte, Secretary General of the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO; Mrs. Renuka Peiris, Director of Education, Health and Nutrition Branch, Ministry of Education; and Mr Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

At their peak, school closures around the world affected at least 1.5 billion children and youth from pre-primary to higher education. COVID-19 and the lockdown can lead to individuals feeling anxious, scared, stressed, and even depressed. School going children are particularly affected since they have lost their daily routine due to the closure of learning institutions. To exacerbate the matter, they are not allowed to physically meet their friends and families. In this context, it is therefore important to understand the implications that such restrictive social activity has on the population.

Marginalized people, especially children and youth, become even more vulnerable in times of emergencies. We hope the messages on these posters will help individual, family and interpersonal coping with the COVID 19 emergency.
Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director
The mental health of our students and the youth population has become a major concern as students are restricted to their computers while their parents work from home, carrying also, the anxieties surrounding this grave health crisis.
Dr Punchi Nilame Meegaswatte Secretary General, Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO

UNESCO is committed to promote and ensure equitable access to quality education for all. These posters (available in four languages: English, Hindi, Sinhala and Tamil) aim to create awareness on how women, girls, youth, internally displaced groups, and children with disabilities can cope with their anxieties surrounding COVID 19; and how they can operate and stay connected with each other within the limitations of the lockdown. Most importantly, the posters underlines that what they are feeling is okay and that they are not alone.