“Child and adolescent mental health needs have become more visible than ever during the pandemic”
- These programmes, the first of its kind in Spain, designed to address the mental health needs of children are the result of the joint work of the Foundation, the Community of Madrid and Hospital Gregorio Marañón.
- They will raise the issue of mental health in schools, where children spend a large part of their lives; clinical professionals will offer help to teachers, students and families, in schools.
- These programmes follow WHO standards, are based on scientific evidence and meet cost-efficiency requirements.
- Both projects are intended to endure over time and to reach more schools.
Madrid, 19/01/2023. The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, in collaboration with the Regional Departments of Education and Health of Madrid and Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañón, today presented two pioneering programmes in Spain in child and adolescent mental health, to be undertaken by clinical professionals in schools. According to statistics from Unicef’s 2021 report on the State of the World’s Children, one in seven teenagers, aged 10 to 19, worldwide has a diagnosed mental disorder.
Alicia Koplowitz, Chair of the Foundation, stressed: “The mental health needs of children and young people have become more visible than ever during the pandemic… I am confident that this initiative will serve to integrate the work of clinicians and education professionals in a joint line of action that promotes emotional well-being and addresses mental health needs in the school environment; helping, in short, to alleviate the suffering they cause, mental health issues, in our children and their families.”
The Clinical Link Programme in Mental Health for schools, created in collaboration with Hospital Gregorio Marañón, aims to address the mental health needs of children and adolescents in their own school environment through a team of clinical professionals who visit the schools, offering their help to teachers, students and their families.
Training in Child and Adolescent Mental Health for teachers and school psychologists, created in collaboration with the Directorate General for Quality and Bilingualism, aims to provide knowledge so that teachers can be active in promoting the mental health of their students.
The Vice-President, Minister of Education and Universities, Enrique Ossorio, stressed that “educational centres are fundamental centres of coexistence and spaces where we can carry out very important work on behalf of children and young people and thanks to this programme, we have a direct link between mental health and education”, adding that, although the programme was born as a project, “we are convinced that this initiative will grow and be strengthened”.
Health Minister Enrique Ruiz Escudero said that “there is no health without mental health”. He therefore wished to highlight the importance of this initiative, which “aims to improve care for children and adolescents in their school environment”. “We will do it with a clinical liaison team, made up of staff from the psychiatry department of Gregorio Marañón, a leading public hospital with a track record that endorses the responsibility assigned to them and in a subject they master perfectly,” he explained.
Dr Celso Arango, Director of the Institute of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón “This is a fundamental project because the incidence of mental disorders in children and adolescents has increased as never before. Only through full coordination between the education system and the health system, as seen in this programme, pioneered in Spain, can this increase in mental disorders in the school-age population be met. These programmes follow WHO guidelines, are based on scientific evidence and meet cost-efficiency requirements.”
Meanwhile, Ángela Ulloa, Project Director of the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, highlighted: “We have worked with great enthusiasm and commitment, in the design and creation of these programmes, with the aim of improving the care of the mental health needs of children and adolescents in their school environment; through both prevention, promotion and mental health care interventions in students and the training given to teachers and school psychologists.”
About the Foundation
Established 29 years ago and chaired by Alicia Koplowitz, the Foundation is a non-profit organisation, founded with the commitment to promoting training and research in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology, as well as social care for children. It currently focuses on two lines of work in Child and Adolescent Mental Health: medical-scientific activity and clinical care.