<strong>Dubai:</strong> Ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and UNICEF have said that they would partner to help break the stigma around mental health by raising awareness about the issue amongst children and adolescents. <p></p> <p></p>"The ICC and UNICEF are aiming to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst children and adolescents and encourage greater conversation and understanding of it throughout the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 beginning on Sunday," a joint statement said on Friday. <p></p> <p></p>The T20 World Cup begins on October 17 and comprises 45 matches across four venues. The World Cup will attract a global audience, reaching billions of young fans and families. <p></p> <p></p>"The partnership will highlight the need for more conversations around mental health and wellbeing. Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to their community," said the statement. <p></p> <p></p>More than one in seven adolescents aged 10-19 is estimated to live with a diagnosed mental disorder globally, UNICEF-SOWC 2021 survey has said. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue. <p></p> <p></p>"Lockdowns and other pandemic containment measures, in addition to the direct impact of COVID-19, have resulted in mental stress of parents' and care givers. This has in turn affected their ability to provide a protective and nurturing environment for their children," said the statement. <p></p> <p></p>Through the initiative, ICC will use its global platforms, including its broadcast and digital channels to support UNICEF's work and drive the message around, "what affects children's mental health, how to break the silence and talk about mental health wellbeing, destigmatise mental health issues, how to reach out and seek support and what can parents and adults do to improve the mental wellbeing of children". <p></p> <p></p>The partnership comes at the back of ICC's plan to ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of over 2,000 individuals that are involved in the T20 World Cup, many of whom including players, coaches and support staff, will be in a 'managed event environment. throughout.