London School of Economics, LSE

Can better mental health help young people climb out of poverty?

Does transferring cash to struggling families benefit the mental health and life-chances of young people? In 2003, Brazil introduced a landmark programme called Bolsa Familia. Unlike other forms of charity and welfare assistance, it transfers cash directly to those that need it most. While Bolsa Familia has been instrumental in lifting many families from extreme poverty, is there more that can be done to better support young people? In this documentary, three young people from São Paulo, Brazil, share their stories, aspirations and the mental health challenges they’ve faced. The international CHANCES-6 research project, based in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at LSE, investigates the links between mental health, poverty and life-chances of young people from economically deprived backgrounds. Evidence indicates that poor mental health can trap people in poverty, and CHANCES-6 asks whether cash transfer programmes are adequately supporting the mental health of young people.