ZurichApril 7, 2022

Z Zurich Foundation and UNICEF seek partners to join new Global Coalition for Youth Mental Well-being

Coalition’s first action is to support young people fleeing the violence in Ukraine, with Z Zurich Foundation matching donations —up to CHF 1 million— to UNICEF mental health programs.

UNICEF and the Z Zurich Foundation (the Foundation) are seeking partners from the private and public sectors to join the Global Coalition for Youth Mental Well-being (the Coalition), an initiative being launched today to address the severe global shortage of funding and action in support of young people’s mental health.

An estimated one in seven adolescents aged between 10 and 19 lives with a diagnosed mental disorder. Despite growing awareness about the negative effects and economic costs of poor mental health on lives and communities, there is a wide investment gap, particularly for mental health promotion and prevention programs. Globally, only 2.1% of government health expenditure is allocated to mental health, according to UNICEF’s 2021 State of the World’s Children report.

To help close this gap, members of the new Coalition will contribute financial and other resources to support UNICEF’s youth mental health programs, as well as advocacy and knowledge sharing. As an initial goal, the Coalition aims to pool sufficient resources to benefit 30 million young people in 30 countries by 2030.

“Adolescence is a critical window of opportunity to promote mental well-being, but sadly young people— across low, middle and high-income countries—are not getting the support they need to realize their full potential,” said Carla Haddad Mardini, UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships. “We are delighted that the Z Zurich Foundation has stepped up to tackle this challenge. Now we need more private and public sector leaders to raise their voices and take collective action.”

The Coalition’s first action is a campaign to raise funds for programs to support the mental health and psychosocial well-being of young refugees who have fled the war in Ukraine and crossed into neighbouring countries. Every donation made to the campaign, either by individuals or organizations, between 7 April and 30 June will be matched by the Foundation, up to a maximum of 1 million Swiss francs.

“The Coalition’s unique approach bridges a critical gap in how the mental well-being of young people is addressed on a global scale. We are pleased to lead this Coalition with UNICEF,” said Gary Shaughnessy, Chair of the Z Zurich Foundation. “Our commitment to this first action of the Coalition is a call for others to join us to ensure that we can adequately respond to the mental well-being needs of millions of refugees in Europe.”

Following this initial campaign, the Coalition aims to mobilize investment and action in countries around the world to strengthen young people’s social and emotional skills and provide supportive environments for their mental well-being. The Coalition will build on and scale up the investment, programs, tools and activities generated through UNICEF and the Foundation’s existing partnership on adolescent mental health promotion.

Launched in 2021, the partnership aims to benefit more than half a million adolescents and caregivers in seven countries through skills building for young people, strengthening caregiver support and capacity building for facilitators. It also aims to reach 30 million people worldwide with messaging through a communication campaign.

Go to UNICEF's appeal page

For more information, please contact:

Laila Ali, UNICEF Geneva, Tel, +41767846532, laali@unicef.org

Manon Parmentier, Z Zurich Foundation Head of Advocacy and Communications, manon.parmentier@zurich.com

About Z Zurich Foundation

#StopViolence - In the early months of 2022, the Foundation has launched a humanitarian response to support people fleeing the crisis in Ukraine, including a fundraising campaign to mobilize support globally for humanitarian relief efforts. In addition, it has made several donations to charitable organizations in Ukraine and neighboring countries, and is collaborating closely with some NGOs to assist with a broader response aligned with its mental well-being and social equity approaches.

The Foundation works alongside Zurich Insurance Group employees and other stakeholders as well as with governments and NGOs in pursuit of a future where people can thrive in the face of increasing climate hazards, where those of us feeling the stresses of life are empowered to speak up, and where the marginalized in our society can reach their full potential. It is a Swiss-based charitable foundation established by members of the Zurich Insurance Group. It is the main vehicle by which Zurich Insurance Group delivers on its global community investment strategy.

Visit its website to learn more about its work: https://zurich.foundation and follow its social media channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org

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