Lockdown: More and more children and adolescents need psychotherapy

Forum Health Lockdown: More and more children and adolescents need psychotherapy

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    Lockdown: More and more children and adolescents need psychotherapy

    More and more young people in Germany need psychotherapeutic treatment due to the lockdown and the corona pandemic. Their number has even doubled within eleven years.

    Number of psychotherapy patients doubled

    New reports show that the corona pandemic and lockdown have exacerbated the situation of mentally unstable people. More and more children and young people in Germany need psychotherapeutic treatment. In other countries too, scientific studies in recent months have shown that mental illnesses such as depression have increased dramatically. According to the latest doctor report from the Barmer health insurance company, the number of young patients has more than doubled within eleven years. As early as 2019, around 823,000 children and adolescents needed psychotherapeutic help. That was 104 percent more than in 2009. According to the experts, the corona pandemic made the situation even worse due to the strict contact restrictions. Applications for first-time therapies and acute treatments – of children and adolescents insured with Barmer – rose by six percent in 2020. That means that the total number increases to more than 44,000 people.

    Heavy exposure to corona pandemic

    The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown favor mental illness because of the enormous stress it brings. Children and young people in particular suffer greatly from limited contact with their peers. It is important that the psychological problems do not become entrenched. Therapy is therefore always a good idea. The causes of mental health problems can be very different; in almost 37,400 cases, however, reactions to severe stress and adjustment disorders were decisive. The second most common cause of first-time therapy in 2019 was depression, in around 23,100 cases, explains Professor Dr. Joachim Szecsenyi, author of the doctor’s report and managing director of the aQua Institute in Göttingen. However, depression and other psychological problems do not go away overnight: “Those affected cannot expect miracles from psychotherapy. It is a rocky and arduous road. The earlier the children and adolescents receive professional help, the greater the chance of a less severe course, ”says Barmer boss Straub.

    Pay attention to warning signs

    Especially in times of Corona, it is important to pay attention to your fellow human beings and to warning signals: “Psychological problems can have serious consequences for children and adolescents. That is why it is important to pay attention to their alarm signals. Prompt help and prevention can do a lot to ensure that psychological problems do not arise in the first place or that they become permanent and lead to mental illness, ”explains Prof. Christoph Straub, CEO of Barmer. Children and young people are particularly stressed right now: “The corona pandemic leaves its mark on young people in particular, who are already mentally ailing. Quick and uncomplicated help is particularly important here, ”says Straub.

    Dr. Weigl:

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Forum Health Lockdown: More and more children and adolescents need psychotherapy