POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Lux launches mental health first aid for youth



The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2020 report tracking more than 3,000 young people, found overall one in six children aged five to 16 had a probable mental health disorder, up from one in nine three years previously Shutterstock

The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2020 report tracking more than 3,000 young people, found overall one in six children aged five to 16 had a probable mental health disorder, up from one in nine three years previously Shutterstock

Luxembourg has launched a package of initiatives aimed at boosting mental health support for younger residents.

The #act4support campaign, launched on Monday, includes a helpling, training for teachers and a best practice guide, all coordinated by school psycho social support platform Cepas.

The helpline 8002-9393 offers psychological support for children, adolescents and families in distress, be it through conflict and/or overwork.

The service is open daily from 8am to 6pm.

Teachers and other education staff can learn more about how to support young people in difficulty from a specially produced leaflet, available in English, as well as French, Luxembourgish and German. Specific mental health first aid training is also offered.

People working with children can also learn about and share what approaches were most effective for them through a public consultation with stakeholders, which will result in the creation of a best practice guide.

The #act4support campaign will be promoted on social media networks where young people are encouraged to share examples of themselves being supportive of one another and showing solidarity. Examples of acts of kindness will be rewarded with “Well Done” awards. The aim is to replace anxiety-provoking information being spread during the pandemic with constructive words and positive actions from young people.

The campaign comes after family helpline Kanner Jugend Telefon saw a spike in requests for help from young people experiencing suicidal thoughts in the first ten month of 2020.

The results were shared by health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) responding to a parliamentary question.

The Centre d’Information et de Prévention (CIP) received around 30 calls per month in relation to suicidal ideation before the pandemic. Lenert said this number had not “risen substantially and, during lockdown, the CIP noted a drop in telephone calls from people seeking psychological support.”