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World Mental Health Day: the position of Hope For Children on child mental health services in Cyprus

The 10th of October was defined by the World Federation of Mental Health in 1992 and in sequence was recognized by the World Health Organisation, as the World Mental Health Day. “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center honors this day, which has been established worldwide as to raise awareness for various aspects in relation to mental health.  

According to WHO, even though mental health issues have increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic and talks about an international mental health crisis have emerged, it appears that the limited access to affordable mental health care has been diminished due to the pandemic. Difficulties to meeting in person; the infection of mental health staff with Covid-19; and the closing of mental health facilities as to turn them into facilities that treat COVID-19, are a few of the main reasons that the health services around the world are disrupted. This year’s World Mental Health Day is dedicated to the investment of accessible mental health care and hence this year’s message is “Move for mental health: let’s invest”.  

As the demand for psychological support to children increases each year, and due to the constant changes that children are currently facing, it is of great importance to develop and invest more in creating such services and tools that are accessible to children, parents, educators, and mental health professionals in every corner of Cyprus. All children without discriminations have the right to an easy access to mental health care that can provide them with support and a feeling of inclusion. On the occasion of the World Mental Health Day, it is important to send a message to the society, that the investment on affordable and accessible mental health interventions and psychological support should be of high priority as that will lead to a future of well-being. 

Two of the foundations that lead to the protection of our mental health and wellbeing are early childhood interventions, and access to quality health services. Many of Hope For Children projects and services are providing affordable and accessible services for mental health issues for children, without discriminations. Examples of these services are; the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111, which runs in collaboration with SPAVO, enabling all children to call for free and anonymously to receive guidance and psychological support services; workshops at schools about equality, prevention of abuse, bullying and other topics related with mental health issues. Additionally, in this context, the Organization offers free psychological and counseling services for children and parents.  

For more information regarding the projects and services of the Organization, you can contact “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center by calling 1466, as well as through the organization’s 24/7 online platform at www.uncrcpc.org.cy. 

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