Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-Being among Children in Severe Food Shortage Situation

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 8
Publication date: 2006
Languages: Arabic, English, French, Spanish
WHO reference number: WHO/MSD/MER/06.1



A strong maternal-infant (or caregiver-infant) bond provided through psychosocial stimulation is essential for positive child development. The formation of this bond at the beginning of life is an essential step that sets the stage for cognitive, emotional, and social developments later in life. Feeding and other care practices provide opportunities for psychosocial stimulation and help to establish a positive attachment between caregiver and child.

A severe food shortage threatens the nutritional status of communities. This can cause malnutrition among affected populations including micronutrient deficiencies. Such deficiencies can inhibit intellectual and physical potential and cause lifelong disability.