Revščina se ne kaže vedno navzven. Vir: Adobe Stock
Revščina se ne kaže vedno navzven. Vir: Adobe Stock

What is poverty? And how does it affect mental health?

Does this mean that you do not have enough food or clothes?

October 17 is the UNESCO International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Poverty has different meanings in different cultures.

In Slovenia, someone who cannot buy a computer and new clothes is considered poor. In less developed countries, however, a poor person is someone who does not have food and water.

Climate change can also affect poverty.  Source: Freepik
Climate change can affect poverty. Source: Freepik

Childhood poverty is rarely treated the same, explains Urban Boljka from the Institute of Social Welfare of the Republic of Slovenia.

When we evaluate how well children live, we do not only take into account the material possessions of their family. We also consider: the family context, characteristics of the place they live, the accessibility and quality of education, peer group inclusion, health, risky behavior, and free time.

Poverty is also affected by more unpredictable events.

One of them is natural disasters – which can happen anywhere and anytime.

Natural disasters, such as the recent floods in Slovenia, do not choose whether they affect rich or poor. But this does not mean that all children and families are equally able to deal with the disaster’s consequences.

For those who were already living on the brink of poverty before the floods, their situation was exacerbated by new problems and more stress.

All this puts many individuals in mental distress.

The World Health Organization warns that a poor socio-economic situation is one of the main risks for the deterioration of mental health.

Even before the floods, the mental state of Slovenian teenagers was not at a desirable level.

One in six young people aged 11 to 17 have experienced feelings of loneliness in the last year, according to a survey conducted by the Slovenian National Institute of Public Health.

Before judging a friend, always consider where they’re coming from. The root cause determines a person’s actions and thinking.


To eradicate means to completely get rid of something; eradication.

To exacerbate means to make a bad situation worse.

The root cause is a phrase for the basic reason for something.

Points to Consider

  1. Which other events can have an impact on children’s mental health?
  2. How do you assess the socio-economic status of your family?
  3. Do you have a personal computer at home?


The original version of this article was published on 17th October.

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je novinarka in mama dveh odraščajočih deklet, ki svoj prosti čas najraje nameni športu. Rada ima sneg, še raje valove, najraje pa pleza nekje v naravi.


Svetina is an English translator, EFL educator, and graphic designer. She is an American who has lived in Slovenia since 2008. She loves hiking and traveling with her family.

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