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Psychiatric care statistics show that despite the fact that persons under the age of 20 years accounted for one-fifth of the total population in 2015, their share in selected groups of diagnoses was up to 10% of the total number of patients. The greater proportion of children and adolescents was in developmental disorders in childhood and adolescence. Mental retardation of children and adolescents is around 20% of the total number of patients. Eating disorders in the age group 0-19 represented 37% of the total number of patients with these diagnoses. Children aged 0-14 years were those most commonly diagnosed with a childhood and adolescence developmental disorder, mental retardation and neurotic disorders for which they have been treated; altogether more than 97% of the total number of patients in this age category.
The overall aim in psychiatric care in the Czech Republic is to deinstitutionalise the care when possible and bring the services to the community and local centres, which were first created in 2017 according to the Health 2020 Strategy. In 2018 first five were selected for state support.
In the Strategy, we can find statistics, that from 2000 to 2012 the increase of adult patients was around 60%, as opposed to the age group 0-19 years of age, with less than a fifth increase.
There are mapped deficiencies of experts on clinical children and adolescents psychology (acc. to Raboch andWenigová, 2012).
There are 3 psychiatric children's hospitals in the Czech Republic, which were founded by the Ministry of Health and are in its competence. According to the 2015 annual report of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, the capacity is 250 beds for young people up to 18 years of age. There are also 18 psychiatric hospitals for adults with special sections of 188 beds for child patients. For comparison, in 1997 there were 5 psychiatric children hospitals with 405 beds.
There is no special legislation on mental health in the Czech Republic, either for adults or for children or young people.
There is also no special political strategy on the mental health of young people or children yeat, however, there is a comprehensive process of the reform of psychiatric care with the aim to create complete Strategy and change the environment for providing psychiatric and mental care.
On the 18th of December 2019, there was a first meeting of the Governmental Council for Mental Health.
The new Governmental Council for Mental Health should discuss and prepare a new Mental Health Action Plan 2030.
Among existing, there is a National Action Plan on the Mental Health (no. 3) under the National Health Strategy 2020.
The Plan sees the success in a cross-sectorial approach and delegates some tasks also related to children and young people:
- de-stigmatisation of mental health within the educational system
- equal access for young people with mental illness within the educational system
- consideration of special support for free-time and leisure time activities of young people with mental illness
- promoting the topic within the pedagogical faculties and their curricula
The Action Plan also sees the creation of a parallel network of health-social services for children and adolescents as a desired acitvity, however, without any specification.
Young people were involved in the discussion about mental health in discussion within the Structured Dialogue with youth.
On the 20th of December 2019, the Ministry for Health announced a new Programme to support the development of new services in the field of care provided by the multidisciplinary teams of mental health for children and adolescents.
The aim is to provide multidisciplinary support in health, social and pedagogy services in ambulances and in terrain. The initiative and fund call is supported by the European Social Fund
Ministry of Health operates also Mental Health Support Program which is devoted to the whole population including young people.
The National Institute for Mental Health published a short brochure with basic information named 'Trauma in Childhood and Adolescence'. Since 2017 also operates within the institute working group on research on mental health of Children and Adolescents. It runs several research projects as well as prepare educational programmes for schools. Its representatives are active also within the National Curricular reform (see chapter 5).
Supporting mental health by pupils in schools (web portal)
- in 2021 National Pedagogy Institutu of the Czech Republic launched new web portal dusevnizdravi.edu.cz to support schools, school directors, teachers and parents in the mental health issues.
- There are 4 main sections related to:
- How to support mental health in schools (quick interventions and tips what to do directly in school)
- Contacts for the help services - Tips for school psychologists, educational counselors and prevention methodologists.
- Videos and Podcasts about various topics related to mental health in schools.
- Section specifically for parents about the relevant topics and tips
Campaign and project 'Můj Mindset' (My Mindset)
- Started in 2016 and focuses on medical and health secondary schools
- Focused on de-stigmatisation of mental health among secondary school pupils within the health sector.
- NGO project with support among others of the Ministry of Health and National Institute of Mental Health.
Campaign 'Nevypusť duši' (Do not let go of the soul)
- Started in summer 2015 as an initiative of two students and became a NGO later.
- Promotes topics of mental health in the society, special focus on young people and their mental health struggle linked to studies.
- Initiative inspired by the UK.
- Supported by the National Institute for Mental Health.
The young representatives of these campaigns are also involved in the governmental process of mental health reform and preparation of the new Action Plan on Mental Health 2030.