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    Up to 40 percent of Czech ninth-graders suffer from depression, 30 have anxiety. Girls are twice as bad off, study says

    Up to 40 percent of ninth-graders in primary school show signs of moderate to severe depression and 30 percent have signs of anxiety. This is according to a study by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NUDZ). In all areas of mental health, girls are more affected. Compared to boys, more than twice as many of them suffer from both depressive and anxiety symptoms. The data was collected by experts in May and June 2023 from more than 6,000 pupils from all regions.

    “Research shows that more than 50% of ninth-grade students in the Czech Republic show signs of impaired well-being. This is essential, as it reflects the quality of life we are currently experiencing subjectively and to some extent helps us to cope with the stressful situations that life brings. Sudden challenging situations, stress, difficulties at work, school, in a partner relationship or the loss of a loved one can interfere with our mental health,” explains Matěj Kučera, coordinator and analyst of the monitoring from the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Nearly one in three pupils would benefit from professional help

    “In addition, 30% of those surveyed showed signs that indicate moderate to severe anxiety. Almost one in three ninth graders would benefit from seeking professional help for these reasons. If we translate this into an average class of 20 pupils, on average 6 show signs of anxiety and 8 show signs of moderate to severe depression, while another 5 show signs of mild depression,” says Matěj Kučera. Girls are more affected in all areas of mental health: more than twice as many of them suffer from depressive and anxiety symptoms compared to boys.

    “The majority of mental illnesses arise in childhood and adolescence, which are not only a period of increased risk, but above all a period that is extremely important for systematic, targeted and evidence-based prevention and early intervention. With a chronic shortage of child psychologists and psychiatrists, which cannot be resolved even with the best will and high investment within a few years, we must focus precisely on the preventive component of the mental health care system,” explains Petr Winkler, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Prevention is essential

    The results of the survey will now be made known not only to those involved, but also to the Mental Health Monitoring Platform. This will bring together representatives of projects collecting and analysing mental health data. The NUDZ team is also preparing scientific publications to reach a wide academic community in the Czech Republic and abroad.

    Together with those concerned with children’s mental health, the Institute also intends to hold a series of meetings to present possible responses to the situation. “These include further monitoring of the situation or support for the prevention of mental illness in pupils. The NUDZ has already implemented several projects in this area: for example, it has created the All Five Together programme aimed at increasing pupils’ mental literacy, it is developing a programme for parents of children who are struggling with anxiety, or it is cooperating on other projects with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO),” said Matěj Kučera, the NUDZ’s monitoring coordinator and analyst.

    Improving the mental well-being of young people through building resilience and mindfulness is the aim of the BENEFIT project. Download our Toolkit for Resilience and Mindfulness and find out more and follow us on Facebook


    Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them. Με τη χρηματοδότηση της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Οι απόψεις και οι γνώμες που διατυπώνονται εκφράζουν αποκλειστικά τις απόψεις των συντακτών και δεν αντιπροσωπεύουν κατ'ανάγκη τις απόψεις της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης ή του Ευρωπαϊκού Εκτελεστικού Οργανισμού Εκπαίδευσης και Πολιτισμού (EACEA). Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και ο EACEA δεν μπορούν να θεωρηθούν υπεύθυνοι για τις εκφραζόμενες απόψεις. Финансирано от Европейския съюз. Изразените възгледи и мнения обаче принадлежат изцяло на техния(ите) автор(и) и не отразяват непременно възгледите и мненията на Европейския съюз или на Европейската изпълнителна агенция за образование и култура (EACEA). За тях не носи отговорност нито Европейският съюз, нито EACEA. Financováno Evropskou unií. Názory vyjádřené jsou názory autora a neodráží nutně oficiální stanovisko Evropské unie či Evroské výkonné agentury pro vzdělávání a kulturu (EACEA). Evropská unie ani EACEA za vyjádřené názory nenese odpovědnost. Gefinancierd door de Europese Unie. De hier geuite ideeën en meningen komen echter uitsluitend voor rekening van de auteur(s) en geven niet noodzakelijkerwijs die van de Europese Unie of het Europese Uitvoerende Agentschap onderwijs en cultuur (EACEA) weer. Noch de Europese Unie, noch het EACEA kan ervoor aansprakelijk worden gesteld. Financirano sredstvima Europske unije. Izneseni stavovi i mišljenja su stavovi i mišljenja autora i ne moraju se podudarati sa stavovima i mišljenjima Europske unije ili Europske izvršne agencije za obrazovanje i kulturu (EACEA). Ni Europska unija ni EACEA ne mogu se smatrati odgovornima za njih. Financé par l’Union européenne. Les points de vue et avis exprimés n’engagent toutefois que leur(s) auteur(s) et ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux de l’Union européenne ou de l’Agence exécutive européenne pour l’éducation et la culture (EACEA). Ni l’Union européenne ni l’EACEA ne sauraient en être tenues pour responsables. Von der Europäischen Union finanziert. Die geäußerten Ansichten und Meinungen entsprechen jedoch ausschließlich denen des Autors bzw. der Autoren und spiegeln nicht zwingend die der Europäischen Union oder der Europäischen Exekutivagentur für Bildung und Kultur (EACEA) wider. Weder die Europäische Union noch die EACEA können dafür verantwortlich gemacht werden. Financiado pela União Europeia. Os pontos de vista e as opiniões expressas são as do(s) autor(es) e não refletem necessariamente a posição da União Europeia ou da Agência de Execução Europeia da Educação e da Cultura (EACEA). Nem a União Europeia nem a EACEA podem ser tidos como responsáveis por essas opiniões. Financiado por la Unión Europea. Las opiniones y puntos de vista expresados solo comprometen a su(s) autor(es) y no reflejan necesariamente los de la Unión Europea o los de la Agencia Ejecutiva Europea de Educación y Cultura (EACEA). Ni la Unión Europea ni la EACEA pueden ser considerados responsables de ellos. Finanziato dall'Unione europea. Le opinioni espresse appartengono, tuttavia, al solo o ai soli autori e non riflettono necessariamente le opinioni dell'Unione europea o dell’Agenzia esecutiva europea per l’istruzione e la cultura (EACEA). Né l'Unione europea né l'EACEA possono esserne ritenute responsabili. Financirano s strani Evropske unije. Izražena stališča in mnenja so zgolj stališča in mnenja avtorja(-ev) in ni nujno, da odražajo stališča in mnenja Evropske unije ali Evropske izvajalske agencije za izobraževanje in kulturo (EACEA). Zanje ne moreta biti odgovorna niti Evropska unija niti EACEA.
    Project Number: 2022-1-DE04-KA220-YOU-000085433

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