Experts suggest that the prevention and treatment of mental health problems among children and adolescents should “move forward”

Experts suggest that the prevention and treatment of mental health problems among children and adolescents should “move forward”

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“The prevention and treatment of mental health problems in children and adolescents should be ‘moved forward’, and relevant measures should be taken at the front.” Talking about how to deal with mental health problems related to school bullying, the National Center for Psychiatric Disease (Shanghai Mental Health Center) TCM Psychiatric Clinic Liu Lanying, the head of the diagnosis and treatment center, suggested this in Beijing recently.

The topic of campus bullying has attracted much attention recently. What are the mental health issues among children and adolescents behind school bullying? How to strengthen the prevention and treatment of mental health among children and adolescents? While attending the 9th Annual Meeting of Medical Scientists (2024) in Beijing on the 21st, Liu Lanying accepted an exclusive interview with a reporter from China News Service on related issues.

Liu Lanying, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, said that at first there were very few children and adolescents with mental health diseases, but they gradually increased after 2015. Judging from the current daily admissions, the number of patients under the age of 16 is gradually increasing.

Liu Lanying said that one of the causes of mental health problems among children and adolescents is campus bullying. “It is worth noting that bullying is not limited to the physical level, but also has many mental aspects, such as being isolated, ignored, and heckled, etc., which may cause psychological trauma to children.”

Another reason is the parent-child relationship. Liu Lanying gave the example of a patient who became ill in high school, and the cause of the disease can be traced back to elementary school. The child once expressed spiritual demands, but did not receive timely attention from the guardian and did not receive the response he deserved.

“Some children will feel a lot of pressure and need to vent. We need to pay close attention to this state of children and adolescents.” The expert called for the prevention and treatment of mental health problems among children and adolescents to “move forward” and relevant measures to be taken at the front.

The mental health issues of children and adolescents have received attention at the national level. In 2019, 12 departments including the National Health Commission jointly formulated relevant action plans to promote the mental health and overall quality development of children and adolescents. In 2023, 17 departments including the Ministry of Education issued relevant special action plans, marking the rise of strengthening student mental health as a national strategy.

On the basis of the existing top-level design, how to make relevant measures effective is particularly important. Liu Lanying believes that cooperation between families, schools, and hospitals is the key to solving the problem.

She mentioned that schools can provide students with channels to relieve their emotions, such as creating campus bands and helping students who have suspended school due to psychological reasons return to school. Schools and hospitals can establish a “school medical alliance” and invite professional psychotherapists to campus to popularize children and adolescents’ mental health knowledge for students, teachers, and parents, and improve their ability to deal with mental health problems. Parents should pay close attention to their children’s mental health.

Liu Lanying suggested that education departments and schools set up psychological crisis intervention teams to carry out psychological crisis intervention as soon as possible after campus bullying incidents occur, which can effectively reduce the incidence of mental illness.

“From a more macro perspective, the whole society should work together to reduce the stigma of mental illness.” Liu Lanying said that children and adolescents should be taught how to express emotions reasonably and how to deal with negative emotions instead of looking at this from a pathological perspective. question. “Tell them that it is normal to feel bad occasionally and it can be cured, just like a ‘little cold’ in the mind.”

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