THE number of children hospitalised with mental health problems in the Balearic Islands has risen by almost 60% during the past year, shocking new figures reveal.
According to new data there were 30,000 more children between the ages of seven and 18 admitted with a psychiatric problem in 2021, with issues ranging from eating disorders to anxiety and depression.
This comes as new figures also reveal the number of children arriving at hospital with neurological problems has also risen by 20% over the last 12 months.
The regional coordinator of Mental Health of the Balearic Islands, Oriol Lafau, called the latest figure ‘scandalous’ and said it was children ‘who had suffered the most mentally’ as a result of the pandemic.
Last year doctors saw an increase in mental illness directly linked to the loneliness and uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis, with 16% of psychiatric cases deriving from pandemic stresses.
The delays and pressures on mental health services, which Lafau said were at an ‘all time high’ have added to demand seen in pediatric departments.
“We had to send many of our patients to paediatric wards simply because the psychiatric wards were full,” Mr Lafau said.
Some 17,000 more children on the Islands who are taking antidepressants than there were in 2019 and 2020 meanwhile the number of children admitted to hospital with disordered eating has risen 20% in the last year.