Unicef has said that the mental health of tens of millions of children are at risk as more than 330 million children have been stranded at home for at least nine months.
With at least one in seven forced to remain at home under nationwide public health orders, the children are left feeling isolated and anxious about their future, says a UN report.
"Tens and tens of millions of youngsters have been left feeling isolated and afraid and lonely and anxious because of these enforced lockdowns and isolations that have become as a result of this pandemic," said Unicef spokesperson James Elder.
He said countries needed to emerge from this pandemic "with a better approach, a better approach to child and adolescent mental health, and that probably starts just by giving the issue the attention it deserves."
According to Unicef, half of all mental illnesses begin before the age of 15, and the majority of the 800,000 people who die by suicide each year are under the age of 18.
According to the UN, the pandemic has interrupted or halted vital mental health programs in 93% of countries around the world.
Unicef Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said that when day after day "you are away from your friends and distant loved ones, and perhaps even stuck at home with an abuser, the impact is significant.
"Many children are left feeling afraid, lonely, anxious, and concerned for their future. We must emerge from this pandemic with a better approach to child and adolescent mental health, and that starts by giving the issue the attention it deserves."
For children experiencing violence, neglect or abuse at home, lockdowns have left many stranded with abusers. Children in vulnerable population groups - like those living and working on the streets, children with disabilities, and children living in conflict settings - risk having their mental health needs overlooked entirely.
According to WHO, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93 per cent of countries worldwide, while the demand for mental health support is increasing.
To respond to growing needs, the agency has offered support to Governments and partners to prioritize services for children.
In Kazakhstan, this has led to the launch of a Unicef platform for individual online counselling services, alongside distance training in schools for mental health specialists.
In China, the agency has also worked with social media company Kuaishou, to produce an online challenge to help reduce anxiety in children.
Later this year, Unicef will dedicate its biennial flagship report on the state of the world's children, to child and adolescent mental health, in a bid to increase awareness of the global challenge, exacerbated profoundly by the coronavirus.
"If we did not fully appreciate the urgency prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, surely we do now", said Fore.
Countries must dramatically invest in expanded mental health services and support for young people and their caregivers in communities and schools. We also need scaled-up parenting programmes to ensure that children from vulnerable families get the support and protection they need at home."