Catalonia set to have 52 mental health home intervention teams for children and teens
Health department aims to have 10 teams in operation by end of 2021
The Catalan health department aims to have 52 new mental health home intervention teams for children and teens in the next two years, of which 10 should be in operation by the end of 2021.
"This is only a start," health minister Josep Maria Argimon said on Sunday coinciding with World Mental Health Day. "But we still have a long way to go."
Only 5% of the health budget is spent on mental health, lower than the 8% average seen in neighboring countries. The health department is set to increase this budget by 80 million euros, up 17.5% from the 2020 budget of €457.5 million.
Argimon, who attended an event on Sunday in the Costa Brava town of Blanes, stressed that addressing mental health issues was a matter of "social justice" as they disproportionately affect those who are most in need.
Made up of an interdisciplinary group of professionals, home intervention teams will be sent to patients' homes two to three times per week over three to four months to help kids and young adults with serious mental health issues.
Mental health and the pandemic
Authorities largely agree that the Covid-19 crisis health has had a negative impact on mental health.
The 2020 Catalan Mental Health Poll (ESCA) found that 13.7% of women 15 and older suffer from severe depression, up from 9.6% in 2019, while 10.6% of 4- to 14-year-olds are likely to have mental health problems, up from 7.5% in 2019. In most deprived areas, this same figure soars to 13.5%, while it is 6% amongst the wealthiest classes.
Child and Youth Mental Health Centers (CSMIJ) saw a 21% increase in the number of patients with eating disorders and a rise in cases of young people with mental health emergencies.