The purpose of ADOCARE is to promote and sustain the creation of adapted and innovative care structures for adolescents with mental health problems. ADOCARE develops an innovative, collaborative, cross-sector network that links psychiatrists specialised in adolescence, psychologists, experts, researchers, stakeholders, policymakers, care givers, care users, educators, parents and youth.
The figures and signs of the mental suffering of our present-day European youngsters are alarming:
- More and more our society is confronted with crises of our young people, irrespective of the social class they belong to. 15 to 20% of the adolescents in Europe suffer from one or more psychological or behavioural problems: dread and phobias, post-traumatic stress, depression, eating or learning disorders, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, school absenteeism, suicide etc.
- One in six young people suffers from disordered eating behaviour (anorexia, bulimia). Every year 5% of the adolescents who suffer from anorexia die as a consequence of their morbid eating habits.
- The early and regular consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs exposes young persons to more high-risk behaviour and to severe psychosomatic repercussions. The poly dependence of these three substances has doubled during the last 10 years. Frequent use of cannabis reveals or leads to the development of mental pathologies among the most fragile persons. Other leads to abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, disintegration at school or at work, acts of violence, etc.
- An indisputable increase of violence: self-harm (cuts, burns, self-mutilation) is often a warning call preceding a suicide attempt. Other forms of violence (fighting, pestering and aggressive and violent games) are increasing. The impact of these forms in the school environment is largely underestimated.
- An estimated 50% of mental health problems in adults have their onset during adolescence. There is a real risk that mental health problems during adolescence develop into chronic conditions.
- The mental sufferingaffects the global economy. A yearly loss of 3 to 4% of the European GNP appears to be linked to the effects of absence of mental health on global productivity (absenteeism, reduced performances at work …).
- Young people and their environment do not find the adequate help. There is a huge shortage of specialised facilities, waiting lists are too long.
- School drop-outs and absenteeism. In the past 10 years an increasing number of adolescents have dissociated themselves from school, and drop out from school (school phobia).