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Gdańsk. The FOSA Foundation has created psychological help points for young people in shopping malls

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Three ministries are joining forces to help children and young people in mental health crisis. All this as part of the ending Mental Health Week organized by the Ministry of Education. Grassroots initiatives are also important. In Gdańsk, councilors decided to provide financial support for the FOSA Foundation, which runs the Blue Trampki Youth Forum.

Neither the name nor the place are accidental. “Blue sneakers” are support points for children and teenagers located in two shopping malls in Gdańsk.

– “Blue sneakers” is a symbol of our recipients, i.e. young people. Steps towards life, i.e. we help these young people to move forward firmly and boldly – explains Tatsiana Mironenko, coordinator of the Blue Sneakers Youth Forum. – Shopping malls are the backyard of the 21st century and young people are here, but because they spend a lot of time here, they also encounter crises here – emphasizes Dastin Suski, vice-president of the FOSA Foundation.

Those who came to the point are between 14 and 18 years old and sometimes struggle with loneliness, low self-esteem and even depressive disorders. – This is a necessary place because there are adult people here whom I can trust – says Anhelina. – I came here to sit here, have a nice time, relax – adds Max.

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See also: About 280 million people in the world suffer from depression, and about one million in Poland. What are its symptoms?

At the points, young people can talk about what bothers them, what they can’t cope with, or simply spend their free time differently than at home. Psychologists, educators and therapists are waiting for them in “Blue Sneakers”. – Streetworker catches young people by analyzing their appearance, signs of self-harm, tearful eyes, or when they wake up after taking some stimulants – explains Tatsiana. When someone is drowning, they are often not heard and we must be attentive to those people who are starting to drown in the crisis – emphasizes the vice-president of the FOSA Foundation.

After school, an average of 50 teenagers spend time at the points. Several new people come every day.

Alarming data about children and adolescentsTVN24

Funding for the Foundation

The Blue Trampki Youth Forum is run by the FOSA Foundation, which helps people in emotional crisis on a daily basis. They have been operating for several years, and during this time they have managed to save many lives. – There were many such situations throughout the year, mainly suicide attempts – informs the coordinator of the Blue Trampki Youth Forum. – All these actions are important because if we cannot hear the person, we may notice that the hand is starting to reach out from under the water and someone may need to reach out to him – says Dastin Suski.

The presence of the mayor of Gdańsk and councilors at the Youth Forum was not accidental. The organization received funding from the city budget of PLN 1,500,000 for the next three years. – Loneliness is a word that is very important when we talk about mental health diseases, especially depression – said Beata Dunajewska, a councilor from Gdańsk.

Data from the National Health Fund show that last year over 9,000 children aged 14 to 18 were treated for depressive disorders. – When we talk about depression, the most important word is probably the one that suits the police better – prevention, above all prevention – emphasized Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, mayor of Gdańsk.

Read also: Depression should not be ignored and you should seek help. “I didn’t know it was a disease”

This prevention is not possible without financial support – explains the president of the Foundation. – Maintaining staff and maintaining the standard of support – these are all finances. Thanks to the understanding and functioning of this program in Gdańsk, this is possible – emphasizes Alina Kaszkiel-Suska, president of the FOSA Foundation.

In total, the city allocated over PLN 4 million for the next edition of the Gdańsk Mental Health Protection Program.

– There are currently over 200 places in Gdańsk where you can get help with mental health problems – informs Dunajewska. You can find out where to look for help on the website https://wsartywgdansku.pl/.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 997 or 112.

Author:Marta Kolbus

Main photo source: TVN24

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