Darja Groznik, President, The Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (ZPMS)
The Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (SAFY) organized an important round table at the 2019 Nature-Health Fair, the key message of which was: If we want a healthy society, we have to take care of children's mental health! The President of the Medical Chamber of Slovenia, Mr. Nace Breitenberger, the TOM telephone Consultant, Ms. Mateja Štirn, MSc, a psychologist at the ISA Institute, Leonida Zalokar, Ph.D., Director of the Planina Educational Institution had the opportunity to alert the public that the child mental health care should be a priority; that adults play a key role; and that policy in this area needs to be more determined and committed.
The guests of the round table also pointed out that there is more distress and mental disorders in children and adolescents than recorded in official statistics; and also, the age of children with a recognized diagnosis of mental disorder is lowering. The public round table conveyed important thoughts to the public: it is necessary to improve communication among adults (parents, teachers, ..) and children; the educational programs are needed for teachers and other professionals dealing with children; for children we need prevention programs that reduce the risk of developing mental health problems; a comprehensive and priority care for the children's mental health is needed by all policy makers in this area.