Week-long focus on the mental health of young people in October

Week-long focus on the mental health of young people in October
Credit: Belga

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, the Mental Health Reference Centre (CRéSaM) and the Brussels League for Mental Health (LBSM) will be organising a mental health week, focussing on young people, from 10 to 16 October.

Adolescence is synonymous with many changes, whether physical, emotional or relational, and brings with it its share of issues, Belgium's Superior Health Council notes. Mental health problems generally develop early in life, with 75% of them appearing before the age of 24.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly a billion people worldwide, 14% adolescents, were affected by mental health disorders, in 2019.

In Belgium, the available data suggests an increase in hospitalisations in child and juvenile psychiatry units, in both in general and psychiatric hospitals.

More than 100 activities are scheduled as part of the upcoming thematic week, involving mental health support services and the social and cultural sectors. Walks, films, plays, conferences, concerts and study days, in particular, will be offered.

The goal is to make people aware of support services and of the importance of taking care of their mental health. In addition, there is still too much stigma around mental health care that needs to be tackled.

Several angles of approach are favoured this year in relation to young people. Participants will also look at the issue of social media, the impact of the health crisis on mental health, gender differences and the influence of the ecological context.

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