Depression and anxiety disorders in children: Help in the district Segeberg

District Segeberg. Performance pressure at school, stress in the family, two years of corona restrictions – children and young people are mentally stressed. Not only because of the pandemic, a significant increase in inpatient treatment is needed for school children due to depression, anxiety and eating disorders. At the same time, those affected often wait months for a place in therapy. In the Segeberg district, there are a number of offers for help for children, young people and families to strengthen their mental health, which, however, are hardly known or not used by shame.

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“It’s really alarming,” says Dr. Sylvia Hakimpour-Zern, head of the special service “Social Psychiatry and Health Promotion” in the Segeberg district. The inpatient treatment of school children between the ages of 10 and 14 has risen sharply due to depression (+27 percent), anxiety (+25 percent) and eating disorders (+21 percent), Hakimpour-Zern quotes the results of the 2022 child and youth report from DAK .

Sharp rise in mental illness among young people

Among adolescents aged 15 to 17 years, admissions for an emotional disorder increased by 42 percent and for substance abuse by 39 percent. Data from 2020 to 2021 were compared.

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“We do not want to leave children alone with their problems,” Hakimpour-Zern stressed. “Life has become more complex and faster,” adds Bianca Wollmer, head of the youth welfare office. Stressors can be many: problems at school, pressure to perform, quarrels in the family, parental illness, isolation during the pandemic.

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The Segeberg district has a network of health promotion, youth welfare offices, youth welfare agencies, counseling centers and self-help groups. However, a number of prejudices and misunderstandings stand in the way of help. Mental illness is still taboo.

Mental stress: offering help in the Segeberg neighborhood

Mental illnesses are “such as cavities or appendicitis,” explains Hakimpour-Zern. Up to every second person suffers from a mental illness at some point in their life. Instead of ignoring problems, it is better to get help early. Often, however, those affected have a sense that the problem “is not bad enough,” Wollmer says.

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Help for mental health problems in Segeberg

Help in mental crisis situations offered by the youth welfare offices in the district Segeberg. The youth office in Bad Segeberg can be contacted on 04551/9519600.

The youth office in Norderstedt has the number 040/53595401.

It is anonymous and free number against grief: 116117 (Monday to Saturday 14:00 to 20:00).

It is available day and night telephone counseling on 0800/1110111 or 116123

In addition, there is still the prejudice that the youth office takes the children away. “We are close to the families,” Wollmer emphasizes. To the youth welfare office can offer a wide range of help – from counseling to family help, tailored to the affected family.

In addition, children have the right to counseling, they can also ask for help themselves – without the youth care subsequently informing the parents, Wollmer emphasizes.

Find the right counseling and self-help group

Also at The Child Welfare Association there are contacts for families and children, emphasizes CEO Silvia Neeth. During the consultation, she noted increasing problems with media consumption and other addictions. The special counseling center for sexualised violence is also part of the Child Welfare Association. If you can not help with a problem, you will be directed to the right place.

“People often do not know where to turn,” reports Sabine Ivert-Klinke from the Contact and Information Center (KIS). There are almost 100 self-help groups in the district, of which 40 are in the psychosocial area. Like KIS, all partners in the network see themselves as pilots. “You can not go to the wrong place,” says Hakimpour-Zern.

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The district also runs schools with various projects to raise awareness and prevent children and young people from the topic of mental illness. Families should be strengthened.

Bridges long waiting times on a therapy site

There are limits to what partners can do: “We do not offer therapy and we do not provide medication,” says Hakimpour-Zern. But many are waiting for therapy places, including children and young people. “It’s a sore point. We need more beds and outpatient therapies,” says Hakimpour-Zern. “This is what the country is repeatedly aware of,” she assures.

“You can not wait six months for a place,” Wollmer declares. “But there are also no child and adolescent psychologists.” A similar position in the circle had been vacant for a year and a half. Counseling and self-help services can help those affected to bridge waiting times.

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