“We need more psychiatrists and psychologists to treat juvenile disorders”

Let’s talk mental health. Disorders in children, adolescents and young people are on the rise. Is there a concrete plan to reinforce this? The strengthening of mental health is a firm commitment of the Government in general, as evidenced by the National Pact for Mental Health on which all departments are working. But, in addition, it is a specific bet of Salut. We are very concerned about the health of children and adolescents, we are very concerned about suicide, there are already specific plans for this. But we understand that there are also a lot of emotional disturbances, something that we also address with the emotional well-being CAP referents.

Why are mental disorders increasing so much among children and adolescents? Experts tell us that the pandemic has taken its toll and social media addiction is also taking its toll. Beyond the treatment of these pathologies, we also work on the prevention, education and management of all these problems in the school environment, in particular eating disorders (ED) which are very common among adolescents.

Indeed, there are public hospitals with waiting lists of up to three months to enter their specialized ACT units. How was this mitigated? Urgent disturbances must be seen immediately and, in this sense, the units must operate. And on the other hand, we must increase the means so that care that is not strictly urgent does not wait so long. We need to increase resources and we will.

In a few weeks we will present a strategic plan for professionals, which will remedy the lack of psychologists

By resources, what do we mean? Psychologists? Because there are no psychologists. There is a lack of psychiatrists, there is a lack of clinical psychologists… More than psychologists, clinical psychologists. Either way, we offer strategies for finding more clinical psychologists or training psychologists to act as clinical psychologists if needed.

And the strategies for finding these clinical psychologists where do they go? Clinical psychologists need a PIR, those who are not clinical psychologists must prepare and be accompanied by clinical psychologists. When we present the strategic plan for professionals, we will discuss this issue in more detail.

And when will they present it? In a few weeks.

What winter awaits us regarding covid? A difficult winter. Bronchiolitis, which is the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and which affects young children a lot, has reached its peak; it’s starting to go down. But the forecasts tell us that around Christmas there will be the peak of the flu. And then, after a few days, the covid-19, which goes up. Because the covid is here: at the moment we have more than 700 patients admitted for covid and 27 in intensive care. It seems, yes, that we will have a less aggressive wave than the flu.

In other words, this year we expect more flu than covid. Exactly. And the flu is expected for Christmas, like other years.

But will it be as strong as the bronchiolitis epidemic? We are not fortune tellers, but everything suggests that there will be a big flu wave. We recommend everyone to get vaccinated [de gripe y de la cuarta dosis de covid]especially people at risk.

There will be a flu peak at Christmas and this year it will be stronger than that of covid-19

Hello, will it influence the recommendation to wear a mask on public transport, a state rule that no one respects? We insist on this recommendation and that people with symptoms of any respiratory condition wear a mask. Above all, that people with risk factors wear a mask.

When you were president of the Consell Assessor de Salut, you criticized the management of the residences of the first wave and said that the socio-sanitary model had to be rethought. What is there to rethink? We rethink it now. At the moment, the establishment of the Integrated Agency for Health and Social Action is being studied and we are considering various deployment projects for the agency, which we will also announce shortly.

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What concerns you the most in the field of health? Many things. This health pressure from professionals, the health pressure itself that exists on these dates, the social and health tension that we still have to redo, have adequate funding to respond to…

How do you judge the management of your predecessor, Josep Maria Argimon? We are working on everything that has been built before and all thanks to the work of my predecessor and all the previous health consellers. We have a stressed but very powerful, high quality health system. It has some shortcomings that we need to fix, but it’s very solid. It is a great treasure that we have and we must preserve it, take care of it and improve it.

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