24 March 2023

UNICEF launches the first household survey module to collect internationally comparable, population-based data on symptoms of anxiety and depression among people aged between 15 and 24 years.

Instruments to screen and diagnose mental health symptoms in clinical and school settings are widely available. However, there is a gap of validated tools to generate data on adolescent and young people’s mental health conditions at the population level.

To address this gap, UNICEF has developed a household survey module in collaboration with academic partners and other experts through the MMAPP (Measuring mental health for adolescents and young people at the population level) initiative.

This module is being introduced in MICS and covers the following key domains of mental health:

  • Presence of symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Identification of functional limitations resulting from these symptoms (e.g. interference in daily activities or relationships at home, at school or work, or with peers).
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors, including suicidal ideation, self-harm and suicide attempt.
  • Care seeking and connectedness, including opportunities to speak to others and feelings of being understood.

The tool has undergone a rigorous process of cultural adaptation and clinical validation in collaboration with partners in Belize, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The results of the methodological process to develop the instrument have been published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Detailed guidance and materials to support each step involved in the implementation of this module (see figure below) will be available as part of the MICS mental health module tool package.


To learn more about the MICS mental health module, its development and contents, please see our brochure.