"The Smile of the Child” announces new health initiatives in collaboration with the Ministry of Health on the occasion of World Mental Health Day
Athens, 8 October 2021
"The Smile of the Child” announces new health initiatives
in collaboration with the Ministry of Health
on the occasion of World Mental Health Day
● Free Services & Statistics
● Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers of the Organization
next to each child and family, free-of-charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
● For any issue of concern you may call the "National Helpline for Children SOS 1056"
or the "European Helpline for Children & Adolescents 116111"
Health should not be equated with the absence of disease. On the contrary, health should be perceived as the result of interaction of biological, psychological and social factors. In the same spirit, the state defines the basic pillars of services in the health system, setting as a priority easy access to the required health services, with equality for each and every individual.
"The Smile of the Child" took immediate action taking into consideration the above and the assumption that both in our country and internationally, mental health constitutes a good which is no longer taken for granted; in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and specifically the Deputy Minister for Mental Health, Ms. Zoe Rapti, “The Smile of the Child” announces the implementation of new mental health services addressed to the affected children and families in northern Evia, through:
● the operation of a new Daycare Home in the city of Istiaia, as well as
● a mobile Psychosocial & Medical Support Unit, which will in principle be activated in the affected areas with the aim to cover the needs of the local residents - adults & minors - with a holistic approach.
● tele-counseling that will be provided through the specialized scientific team of the Organization’s Day Center, "The House of the Child".
The new initiatives are added to the already successful cooperation of the Organization with the Ministry of Health, and more specifically in the field of Mental Health which includes the operation of the unique for our country, Day Center. The Day Center provides personalized Mental Health Services to children and adolescents, victims of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, victimized children, involved in bullying incidents, and in general children who recently or in the past have been exposed to intense psycho-traumatic experiences and therefore experience mental health, adaptation or behavioral problems.
'The Smile of the Child' on children's mental health amid the pandemic crisis:
During the first half of 2021, "The Smile of the Child" noted a major increase in calls by
a) children who expressed suicidal ideation (248,89%) and
b) children with developmental, personality, food intake disorders, etc. (53,04%)
In the same period, 2.524 individuals appealed to the Organization to get psychological support, while at the same time, 438 reports of child abuse were recorded, compared to 310 in the first semester of 2020. At the same time, the number of children in need of any form of treatment keep rising, while public providers are unable to cope with the rapidly increasing amount of needs. In specific, 126 new requests for treatment of children were recorded in total in 2020, while 74 have already been recorded in the first half of 2021.
"The Smile of the Child" on the front line of mental support for those affected by natural disasters:
In Greece, the impact of the pandemic was intensified by successive natural disasters that radically affected the everyday life and the integrity of a large part of the population. The state mechanism was challenged to respond to all these challenges with intervention, rehabilitation and health promotion actions. “The Smile of the Child " has been standing next to the people who are affected and/or suffer from a mental illness, recruiting and adapting all its activities and services to the emerging needs of children and their families. Particular attention was given to the provision of services to people facing mental health problems, both remotely and live.
● Remotely, through the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, which has been extended with the new application Chat 1056 and interconnected with the state Psychosocial Support Telephone Line for Coronavirus 10306
● Live through a) the local centers of Direct Social & Medical Intervention (in 15 areas all over Greece) and b) the Day Center of the Organization, "The House of the Child".
"The Smile of the Child" on Mental Health:
The Day Center of the Organization, "The House of the Child", and its interdisciplinary team aim to provide mental health services to children and families, such as child psychiatric assessments and therapeutic access of children, who recently or in the past have been exposed to intense psycho-traumatic experiences, facing mental health adaptation or behavioral problems and are in need of holistic support from the specialized staff of the Organization.
In addition, mobile medical units with volunteer doctors and social workers and psychologists, provide medical monitoring, psychosocial support and care on a nationwide scale, serving population excluded due to various difficulties or geographical distance.
● More information about the Day Center "The House of the Child", operated by "The Smile of the Child", here: https://www.hamogelo.gr/gr/el/paidia-me-provlimata-igeias:to-spiti-tou-paidiou/
● Please do not hesitate to call the "National Helpline for Children SOS 1056" or the “European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111” to discuss any family issue or problem your child may be experiencing with psychologists and social workers.