Hope for Children

How Do Children’s Mental Health Issues Affect Growth?

Children’s mental health issues are not often thought of when it comes to poverty. However, more and more evidence shows that children living in poverty, dealing with constant hunger or trapped in child labor can develop mental health problems that they bring into adulthood.

According to an article in the British Colombia Medical Journal, “…child abuse, trauma, and early adversity can have a significant impact on all aspects of child development and behavior. Early childhood interventions that support the basic needs of children, including access to nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, quality child care, and regular health care, should be our top health priority if we want to ensure the well-being of future generations.”[1]

When a child faces daily hunger and constant uncertainty about their environment, they will have a hard time focusing and excelling at school (if they even go), have developmental delays, and spend precious energy worrying about their situation. It’s vital to provide immediate care, both physically and emotionally.

The World Health Organization reports that people who grow up with poor education will experience 100% more health issues than those who receive good education. This means that every single person who grows up not going to school or being able to advance in school will develop a health problem, including mental health.[2]

These kinds of staggering statistics show the vital importance of supporting and assisting people caught in the cyclical trap of poverty. With millions of people in poverty, including children, the future of our world depends on it.

GFA World longs to enter into the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations, those who have little to no chance of escaping their circumstances, no matter the reason. GFA missionaries are always looking for those they can help where they serve, including children.

This is why we designed the Child Sponsorship Program. Children who enter these programs with GFA program staff receive stabilizing care and assistance amidst a challenging reality. They get help with school fees and supplies, access to clean water, medical assistance if needed and regular nutritious food. These kinds of basic needs are like solid stone foundations children can stand on in order to rise up physically and mentally. Sponsor a child today for $35 and give them the foundation they need to survive and thrive.

Learn more about how GFA is bringing hope for children

[1] Jakovljevic, Ivana; Miller, Ashley P.; Fitzgerald, Barbara, “Children’s mental health: Is poverty the diagnosis?” BCMJ. https://bcmj.org/articles/children-s-mental-health-poverty-diagnosis#a5. October 2016.
[2] “Social Determinant’s of Health.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/social-determinants-of-health#tab=tab_2. Accessed December 8, 2022.