Appearance of mental problems in youngsters’ life
The European Union has clearly stated on the "Together for Mental Health and Well-being" conference, on the 13 June, 2008 at Brussels that the mental health and well-being are very important in terms of the European Union, the member states, stakeholders and population as well. According to this, it is necessary for political decision makers and those who belong to health, educational, social and justice sectors to search for solutions together to the elimination of the formed problems, especially because the appearance of mental problems are high among young people, too.
UNICEF points out in its report of 2011 about the state of world’s children that according to the estimated data, 20% of the youngsters in the world fight some kind of mental or behavior problem. Among teens (between 15-19) depression is the most often occurring illness globally, and among young (between 15-23) suicide is the third most common reason of death. About 71.000 teens commit suicide yearly in the world, the number of attempt is 40 times higher than this data. The half of the mental disorders evolves below the age of 14, 70% of it until the age of 24.
Experiences about the care system
Those kids who are fighting some kind of mental or social difficulty are added to child psychiatric care, where the common work starts in order to healing. However we must be aware of that the very big percentage of the added children fights with a non-organic origin (biological) illness, but psychosocial factors are behind their problems. Namely mental well-being is highly connected with social well-being. Most of the psychic problems are not psychic illnesses yet, but a disease status, in which early and effective intervention could help and prevent the form of psychiatric illness later on.
Childhood abuse, family, school, neighborhood violence, poorness, social exclusion and disadvantaged access to education can serve as a basis of formation of mental health illness. Domestic violence, low level of education, unemployment, drug usage, risk seeking attitude, crime, non proper self-care appear as a risk factor and increase the endangerment of the young people. These factors can cause the form of a life-long illness and/or early death.
Most of the children who are added to special care primarily not requires medical care or healthcare, but an integrated psychosocial care system with strong cooperation with other basic and special care.
Based on the evaluation of UNICEF the social awareness of mental healthcare problems and the wider social support of young people are fundamental and essential to effective prevention and assistance. The preservation of mental health of teens starts in cooperation and coordination with parents, family, schools and communities. Psychosocial support of educated professionals could be able to serve as the effective relief of their mental problems, and the early recognition of emotional difficulties. This not necessarily means only the healthcare workers.
Nowadays the healthcare and social services, intended to supply children and young people who have mental problems, are very insufficient. This is shown by their availability and development level. Their professional activity is not solved, their cooperation with other care systems is difficult. The main negative point is that in many cases a child fighting with a mental problem remains without care, although in childhood the active psychiatric treatment could be prevented, and the problem’s further engrave could be precluded.
The European Union’s call
The European Union treats the mental health’s question as an emphasized field. The “European Pact of Psychic Health and Well-being” marks different priorities to its treatment, which are keeping in mind the fight against stigmatization and social exclusion.
- Prevention of suicide and depression
- Young’s psychic health and psychic health in the education
- Psychic health in work environment
- Psychic health of older people
Furthermore the EU urges the member states to take actions, and make the provision of mental health and well-being an emphasized task in their own healthcare politics, and elaborate strategies and/or action plans, which gives an adequate and long-term solution and preventing actions by liquidating the emerging problems and deficiencies of care systems.
Written by Zsófia Tupi
Translated by Ildikó Zubály