During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health crises spiked in the Czech Republic. Early intervention and prevention in mental health is a challenge in society. 20% of teenagers suffer from mental health issues and 50% of chronic mental illnesses emerge around 14 years old.
Mental health care program for high school students
2,000 Euro Prize 2021
Country: Czech Republic
Region: Implemented nationwide
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Awareness raising, Education institutions, Health
Project owner: Nevypusť Duši z.s.
Responsible person: Marie Salomonová, MSci
The best way to reach those at risk during their first occurrence of mental illness is in schools. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we adapted our programme to webinars, which allow us to reach more children in the Czech Republic via distance learning. We also provide students and their teachers with information to manage and care for their mental health.
We work with students between 12 and 18 years old and their teachers. Schools can apply and participate in our interactive webinar to support mental health. We also provide students and teachers with additional materials to discuss mental health.
Upon completing our programme, 30% more children know where to seek help for mental health struggles. 150 children sought the help of an expert due to our programme. The programme increases awareness of mental health services, encourages others to seek help, and prevents mental illness for young people and teachers in school.
Through our webinars, we were able to scale the project and reach less accessible regions, which face educational inequalities and where our programmes are needed. Our methodologies can be translated into other languages and incorporated into educational programmes in other EU countries.
The mental health of young people does not receive enough public attention in the Czech Republic. Mental health care programme for high school students takes a socially innovative approach to reach adolescents through workshops on mental health in high schools. These are also led by facilitators who share their experiences and challenges with mental health with the pupils. The current COVID-19 pandemic revealed that it is more important than ever to provide care for adolescent mental health and to integrate mental health into general preventive healthcare.