Home / Spiffy's Blog / Marina Prohaska: Shining a Light on Mental Health and Well-Being
Marina Prohaska: Shining a Light on Mental Health and Well-Being

Marina Prohaska: Shining a Light on Mental Health and Well-Being

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Hi, Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Marina Prohaska, the Social Media Content Strategist of UNICEF.

Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Marina! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through UNICEF?

Marina: Hi Spiffy, thanks for having me! So, diving right in, at UNICEF, one of my primary roles involves communicating about the critical issue of mental health. Did you know that globally, one in seven children and adolescents aged ten to 19 are living with a mental health condition? And with everything going on, from crises to uncertainties, it's putting even more strain on their well-being. That's why shining a light on mental health, and understanding it better, has become more urgent than ever.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Marina: What keeps me driven is the idea of normalizing conversations about mental health. When we break down the barriers and stigma surrounding it, we empower children and young people to speak up and seek the support they need without fear or judgment. It's about creating a safe space where they feel comfortable expressing themselves. I believe that by asking a simple question like 'what's on your mind?' to our friends and loved ones, we can take that crucial first step towards dismantling the stigma.

Spiffy: What is the impact of your work?

Marina: At UNICEF, we work with mental health experts to create content that's not only engaging but speaks directly to children, teens, and caregivers on social media. We're all about encouraging positive changes when it comes to mental health. Whether it's sharing tips for handling emotions or promoting self-care practices, we want these ideas to feel like a natural part of everyone's day. Above all, our aim is simple; Ensure that every child recognizes their right to good mental health.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Marina: On average just two percent of health budget spend goes on mental health. To ensure every child can realize their right to good mental health and well-being, we need to speak up, take action and increase investment across the globe.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Marina—it’s been an honor!

Marina Prohaska is a seasoned storyteller and digital content creator. At UNICEF headquarters in New York, she merges her background in online media, film production, and digital communications to drive impactful initiatives. Passionate about advocating for children's and women's rights, Marina finds inspiration in emerging tech and gaming, exploring their potential in the nonprofit sector. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 22, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Shikha Tandon. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.