Belgium’s public health minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced on Thursday that he has freed up a budget of more than €20 million for child psychiatry to hire extra staff and increase admission capacity in other hospital departments.
“We are offering an immediate response to the growing need for psychological and psychiatric help for children, adolescents and young adults,” he said in a statement.
“In recent times, we have seen a clear increase in requests for psychiatric admissions for children and adolescents, including in the psychiatric departments of our general hospitals.”
These are often children and young people with serious problems, such as eating disorders or signs of self-harm.
“These children are in urgent need of help, but in the current situation, urgent admission is often impossible and parents are told that they have to wait six months before there is a place for their child,” said Vandenbroucke.
“That is why we will increase the number of child psychiatry places in other departments of our hospitals. Specialised teams - ‘liaison teams’ - will provide the necessary and urgent help to children and young people.”
Vandenbroucke also announced that resources have been freed up to hire additional staff, mainly to strengthen the pre and aftercare of children, adolescents and young adults.
The Brussels Times