The effects of the pandemic on children and young people: “We are facing a crisis situation for mental health. There is no time to lose”. The guarantor’s study together with Iss and the Ministry of Education

Research has revealed the emergence of eating disorders, suicidal thoughts (suicide attempts and suicide), self-harm, altered sleep-wake rhythms, and social withdrawal. In the field of education, learning, attention and language disorders, behavioral and cognitive and emotional regulation disorders as well as fear of infection, a state of frustration and uncertainty about the future that generate insecurity and cases of school dropout have been found. I AM READING.

12 MAY

“The problems of neurodevelopment and mental health in children and adolescents that manifested themselves during the pandemic are likely to become chronic and spread on a large scale.” This is the alarm that the Children and Youth Agency sounds, Carla Garlattion the occasion of the publication of the study Pandemic, neurodevelopment and mental health in children and adolescents promoted by Agia with the Higher Institute of Health and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. To conduct the research – the first scientific of national importance – over 90 experts were consulted, including pediatric neuropsychiatrists, paediatricians, social workers, psychologists, educators and teachers.

Emergencies reported by research
The interviewed professionals reported eating disorders, suicidal thoughts (suicide attempts and suicide), self-harm, altered sleep-wake rhythms, and social withdrawal. In the pedagogical field, learning, attention and language disorders, behavioral and cognitive and emotional regulation disorders were found as well as fear of infection, a state of frustration and uncertainty about the future that generates uncertainty and cases of school dropout. An increase in requests for assistance with the use of psychoactive substances, cannabinoids and alcohol was also reported, while unaccompanied minor migrants experienced difficulties in dealing with isolation and quarantine in reception facilities.

More generally, the pandemic has caused what the professional interviewees of the research team have defined as a real “mental emergency.” In fact, there has been an increase in requests for help, which in many cases has been offset by inadequacies and inequalities in responses that have revealed structural deficiencies and delays prior to coronavirus. Children, teenagers and families have often been forced to turn to private individuals with significant financial obligations, which are difficult to maintain, which has increased inequalities. At the same time, the shutdown revealed the potential of telemedicine applied to mental health, but it is necessary to invest quickly in training operators and in specific technologies to help children and young people.

The recommendations of the guarantee authority
Faced with this scenario, the Guarantee Authority has formulated a number of recommendations regarding children and young people’s neurodevelopment, mental health and mental well-being to the Folketing, the government, the regions, the municipalities, educational institutions and social promotion and third sector organizations. regional and autonomous provinces’ guarantors of childhood and youth to promote education pacts
Community.

The recommendations, which are the result of research work on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the well-being of minors, are intended to guarantee the rights of minors throughout the national territory, regardless of personal, family and social and geographical origin or origin (see attached sheet for details on the recommendations).

“Among the recommendations is first and foremost the need for planning, prevention and treatment measures to overcome regional and local fragmentation. The post-pandemic phase may be an extraordinary opportunity to do so and, in general, to improve the system. But there is no time to waste, ”warns Garlatti.“ Sufficient resources must be made available for services, concrete answers must be given on the basis of age, a number of beds must be secured in wards dedicated to minors, and school psychology must be established to activate a connection between school and It is equally important to make a cultural change by intervening in the pedagogical role and in promoting dialogue between the generations ”.

The research lasted one year and will continue for another two, involving up to 35,000 minors aged 6 to 18 in the five regions involved in the study. To validate it a committee, chaired by Professor Paolo Petralia and composed of authoritative representatives of the scientific, academic and psycho-social professions.

May 12, 2022
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