Youth mental health institutions have seen the number of crisis reports increase sharply in recent months. In some regions, the number of reports even increased by 60 percent compared to the same period in 2019, reports the Dutch mental health care sector organization on Wednesday, based on a survey among twenty large institutions.
Depending on the region, mental healthcare institutions see the number of reports increase by 30 to 60 percent. The number of reports is increasing fastest in the Randstad, West Brabant and East Netherlands.
According to Dutch mental health care, the corona pandemic is one of the reasons for the increase. As the survey was conducted before the current lockdown, it is feared that the situation will deteriorate further. The survey shows that aid workers encounter more serious problems compared to the period before the outbreak of COVID-19.
Crisis care is available for young people with serious problems, such as depression, suicidal tendencies and acute eating disorders that make compulsive feeding necessary. These young people often need help the same day, but the waiting lists are increasing according to the institutions.
There are also concerns about the pressure on crisis beds. “For corona, crisis beds were almost always fully occupied. In the regions where the problems arise, institutions indicate that the treatment time has increased since corona. This causes problems with the flow,” said the organization.
Municipalities are struggling with major shortages
The mental health organization calls on municipalities to offer healthcare professionals every opportunity to provide the necessary care. “In this emergency situation, tight budget ceilings really have to be removed, the aid and the extra deployment of personnel must be financed because of the increasing care burden.”
Municipalities are struggling with major shortages. Research shows that municipalities spent between 1.6 and 1.8 billion euros more on youth mental health care in 2019 than they received from the government.
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (Health, Welfare and Sport) has, according to the NOS promised to talk to the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) about structural extra money for youth care and measures to make care financially manageable.
Are you thinking about suicide or are you worried about someone else? Call 113 or 0800-0113 or chat via 113.nl.