New teams to help youngsters with mental health issues

From September mobile teams of mental health professionals will offer emergency support and reception facilities to young people with psychiatric problems. The Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) has agreed the new measures with regions and language communities. The new teams will intervene if a youngster with mental health issues needs urgent help.

Two months ago a 17-year-old girl with mental health issues had to spend the night in a police cell because no suitable care facility was available. The mobile crisis teams are designed to prevent a repeat of such incidents in the future.

The will be at least one team per province. Each team will be made up of a least six people specialist in various fields. The groups will be led by a child psychologist.

Some provinces such as Antwerp and East Flanders will have more than one team.

The Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block has set aside around 10 million for emergency care for children and young people. The mobile teams are part of a wider plan to improve mental health care provision for children and young people.

A central plank of the plan is that the teams will be made up of professionals from various services will be able to pool their knowledge and expertise in order in order to offer continued help and support to youngster with mental health issues.