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The complexity of mental health

07 Complex

Awel conducted a qualitative analysis of the chat and e-mail conversations our volunteers had with children and youth about their mental health. Children and youth identified a number of important causes of their mental health problems, including problems with their love life, taking over others’ negative feelings, school and familial problems, loneliness, eating disorders and abuse. The corona crisis in itself was rarely cited by them as direct cause of their mental health problems. Mental health problems are often the result of a complex web of different events. It also became apparent that children and youth seek too little support and help for their mental health problems. Ignorance exists of where and how to find support and fear of the reaction of parents and friends is also present. So, openly talking about mental health problems remains a huge challenge. More attention needs to go to the prevention of mental health problems, for instance by educational intervention programs aimed at spreading knowledge about mental health (problems) and possible solutions (e.g. how to find a psychologist?). Governmental action is needed by developing structural initiatives to break the stigma regarding mental health problems. Also, after the Corona crisis, there needs to be a continued focus on making mental health (problems) an important point of discussion.

By: Awel