אילוסטרציה
אילוסטרציה צילום: ISTOCK

The Ministry of Health intends to open new distress centers for children, to help with their emotional wellbeing, as reported in Israel Hayom.

The Minister of Health: " We may already be on the way to a fourth vaccine for the coronavirus, the doctors will decide." The Children's Mental Health Program is designed to combat the distress that has skyrocketed since the outbreak of the coronavirus. This is what Ran Reznik, writer and health correspondent for Israel Hayom, reported Wednesday morning.

This is the first time that the Ministry of Health is forming a national emergency plan to help with the mental health and wellbeing of children and youth. This step comes in the face of the sharp rise in referrals of children and teens to mental health services, including psychiatric hospitalization and HMO treatments.

According to unofficial data from psychiatric hospitals and HMOs, there has been an increase of up to 40% since the coronavirus epidemic in applications from children and adolescents who are in severe distress and need psychological treatment and support. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz revealed the new program in an interview with Israel Hayom, in a conference that dealt with the mental health and mental resilience of youth.

Horowitz added that the national emergency plan will be presented to the government, and it will include all government ministries related to the issue, including the ministries of health, education and welfare, noting that it does not yet have a budget.

One of the ways that the program can help children or youth is by creating call or distress centers that can allow children to receive treatment from home without hospitalization.

According to people close to Minister Horowitz, this vital service can be launched immediately in cooperation with hospitals and HMOs. According to them, this is an initiative of the Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Medical Association, whose heads met with the Minister of Health last week and presented their plan. It was also shared that as part of the national emergency program, grants and scholarships will be given to child psychiatrists and psychologists, additional funding for HMOs in this area and also expanding cooperation with youth movements and training them to prevent suicide and identify mental distress.

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