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Months of waiting for a psychiatric consultation for children. “Prevention is in its infancy in our country”

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Eight long months – that’s how long the average child has to wait for psychiatrist help. There are places where you can sign up for 2030. Doctors warn that there are definitely too few specialists, facilities and beds for those in need. Only few people can afford private treatment.

You have to wait in the queue for psychiatric help for your child for months. The GrowSpace Foundation checked exactly how much. – The average waiting time in Poland for a consultation with a child psychiatrist is 238 days – says Dominik Kuc, GrowSpace Foundation. It’s eight months of waiting, often accompanied by anxiety and fear.

The GrowSpace Foundation checked how long you have to wait for a psychiatric consultationFakty TVN

Foundation activists checked that there are places where you can wait for a really long time. – By 2030, you can easily make an appointment for your child to see an adult psychiatrist, not a child psychiatrist – comments Dominik Kuc. When a child is in crisis, you cannot wait. – If the diagnosis is too late, we are usually at a stage of the disorder where it is more difficult to achieve health – explains Professor Piotr Gałecki, national consultant in the field of psychiatry.

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Sometimes it is no longer a matter of health, but of life. – We will not tell suicidal thoughts “calm down for two years. Do you want to kill yourself? Well, wait two years, then you have an appointment” – says Magdalena Tomaszek, a mother looking for an appointment with a psychiatrist for her child.

Two years since the beginning of the child psychiatry reform. “This is an excellent step forward, but only a step.”Marta Balukiewicz/Fakty po Południu TVN24

The ministry’s optimism

The Ministry of Health informs that “there are more and more psychiatrists for children and adolescents and doctors undergoing this specialization.” “From 2022, the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists increased from 494 to 543. Doctors specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry increased from 236 to 312,” the ministry informs in a post on social media and adds that in accordance with WHO guidelines on a hundred thousand children should have ten psychiatrists, and so they do.

The reform of child psychiatry is ongoing, it is “in a state of permanent reconstruction” and assumes three-stage assistance – so as to react before the child needs 24-hour hospital care. – Prevention in our country is in its infancy, it must be honestly said – says Dr. Aleksandra Lewandowska, national consultant in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. – The majority (of patients – editor’s note), if they had received help much earlier, would not have to use care at these particular reference levels – he adds.

If you experience emotional problems or mental difficulties, seek professional psychiatric, psychological or psychotherapeutic help. Here you will find free, professional help for children and adults. In an immediate life-threatening situation, always call 997 or 112.

Main photo source: tvn24

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