Israel’s National Council for the Child published its annual report about the condition of Israeli children and youth and the data is extremely alarming.
According to the report, between 2019 and 2021 the condition of children and youth in Israel has worsened across almost all markers.
There was a 39% increase in teens diagnosed with depression and a 56% increase in those diagnosed with eating disorders. There was also a 13% increase in suicide attempts among children and teens. Moreover, there was a small increase in children experiencing poverty.
These alarming figures join data published by Israeli Social Security which indicated that 21% of Israeli children are living in food insecurity.
The council’s report further proves that COVID had severe consequences on our youth. At ELEM we continue to encounter them every day at our centers and on the street. There is an entire generation of boys and girls who suffer from severe mental, emotional and social distress. Hunger and poverty can affect a child’s physical and mental development. They deprive children and youth of opportunities to do well in school and later in life. It puts youth at risk. It is everyone responsibility to care for our future generations.