Mental health of children and adolescents

Mental health of children and adolescents

  • Probitas Foundation organises the course, imparted by Eduvic, to share knowledge in this field
Keys to a systemic socio-educational model and an introduction to clinical symptoms in children and adolescents. Tools and resources for workers in the social sphere. This is the title of the 20-hour course offered by Eduvic, a non-profit social initiative with more than 20 years of experience and specialised in childhood, adolescence, youth, and families.

Some of the objectives of the course are to offer to professionals in the social sphere (entities, educators, pedagogues, psychologists at open centres, etc.) tools and knowledge that will enable them to understand the different situations of children who suffer from mental health problems, knowing how to manage them, and learning to assist both them and their families. The course also aims to place an emphasis on basic aspects of socio-educational relational diagnoses as tools that can improve work with families, with the team of service professionals, and work coordinated with other services. And, among other objectives, the course aims to provide mechanisms that enable professionals to handle and empower groups of minors composed of boys and girls suffering from mental health disorders, in an inclusive way, controlling discrimination factors and favouring group cohesion.

Course Structure
As for the structure, Eduvic has proposed three blocks to cover the contents:
 
  1. Keys to the socio-educational systemic model when working with families.
    Comprehend to transform: understanding people in their family contexts.
  2. Introduction to the psychopathology of childhood and adolescence.
  3. Relational intervention.

The methodology of the sessions has consisted of a theoretical part and a practical part, based on the application of real cases. Teachers have focused on applying the systemic method when analysing the specific situations of each child and/or young person, to detect the problem and take into consideration the environment surround him or her. Studying the family's genogram (history, life cycle, family relationships and sociocultural environment), they report, can provide many keys to understanding the child's behaviour. The common thread has been, in each session, ascertaining the reasons why children and young people react so specifically on the basis of the disability they have, and understanding why they act this way. Each group featured attendance by 20 to 25 students.

In 2017 the courses were taught simultaneously in four different areas of Catalonia, in order to reach as many beneficiaries as possible from amongst those interested in participating. Zone 1 was made up of the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Badalona and Barcelona. Zone 2 was formed by the localities of Cornellà, El Prat, Sant Boi and El Hospitalet. Lleida was Zone 3, while Terrassa and Sabadell comprised Zone 4.

In all, 20 entities attended the course; that is, approximately 100 professionals interested in acquiring, comparing, contrasting and refining forms of action and work experiences. In the final evaluation the entities that participated were asked about aspects like the duration of the course, the objectives and the contents of the sessions, the methodology used, and the teacher. The professionals stressed the course's practical application to daily work, and the quality of its contents. However, all of them recommended more real practical cases during the sessions and extending the duration of the course.

The positive response to the programme has prompted Probitas Foundation to plan a new edition this year, to respond to the requests of the attendees in the first year, to be able to serve more interested people and to improve the aspects mentioned above. When the course finished Probitas sent a USB to all the entities, containing the documentation from the course and literature pertaining to the contents covered during the sessions.