Building Resilience in Adolescents and Youths - The Maltese Scene

J M Cachia
2019 European Journal of Public Health  
The Office of the Commissioner for Mental Health in Malta was established in 2011 to promote and protect rights of persons with mental disorders and their carers. This advocacy role includes monitoring of involuntary care, regular reporting on quality of care and care environments, in-depth analysis and recommendations on emerging issues such as mental health literacy, multidisciplinary care plans, drug addiction services and stigma and regular networking across ministries, agencies,
more » ... gencies, departments, and NGOs, breaking silos and building bridges. Data for 2018 shows that acutely ill young people (10-29 year olds) were 30% of acute involuntary admissions. Males and foreign nationals from medium and least developed countries were more frequently represented. Substance abuse, mood disorders and psychotic disorders were the more common diagnostic groups. Building resilience and providing opportunities for early intervention are key elements of better mental health and well-being in the younger generation. Six examples of good practice in adolescent and youth mental health from Malta will be presented: Youth.inc by AÄ¡enzija Å»għażagħ; Kellimni.com by SOS Malta; Youth Mental Health First Aid by Richmond Foundation; Research and Professional Education by ACAMH (Malta); Student Support Services at MCAST MALTA; Project Enlight! by Enlight Foundation. Two of these initiatives were recognised as best practices at European level in a peer learning exercise conducted by the Dutch Youth Institute. The recommendations are: more focused approaches towards young people with acute mental disorders with special attention to their specific needs; the identification of young people in trouble; work programmes that build resilience, life-skills and employment prospects; the intensified use of refined electronic and social media tools for promotion, prevention and early intervention; and active support and encouragement of peer group development and self-help initiatives. Key messages Networking stakeholders to break silos and build bridges. Resilience and early intervention for better mental health and well-being.
doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckz186.562 fatcat:6hgds3abs5hzlnbzenkleygulm