“There is no emotional education in school, they don’t teach us to identify what we feel.”

Missing emotional education in schools. “They teach how to do square roots. but not how to talk about emotions, to To put a name to what we feel.” This is the testimony of two mental health activists who participated this afternoon in ‘Parlem de depressió’, the first major meeting on mental health after the pandemic that has brought together people who have suffered from depression, entities y political personalities, such as the councilor of Health, Environment and Cures of the Barcelona City Council, Gemma Tarafa, or the director of the Pacte Nacional de Salut Mental, Magda Casamitjana. The debate has been conducted by the journalist of EL PERIÓDICO Fidel Masreal.

“In school I was taught to solve math problems but, when I got to the psychologist and she asked me what I was feeling, I didn’t know what to answer.” has explained Noa, a young woman who overcame depression. For her “know about history” is as important as “knowing how to manage an anxiety attack or a moment of nerves”. He said the same thing Carmen, a woman who has gone through four depressions and is now an activist. “It’s so important, when you’re not well, to be brave and say, ‘I’m not well’…. But there is a big stigma of society,” he said.

In this regard, Casamitjana has acknowledged the lack of resources and that the child and adolescent mental health centers (CSMIJ). can hardly help the schools because the schools waiting lists are “tremendous.”

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For its part Tarafa has pointed out that talking about depression is a “key” thing, and not only with experts, but also with people who have suffered or are suffering from it. The city councilor pointed out that, in the last three years, depression and anxiety have increased by 27% in the European Union (EU). “Mental health has a class and gender bias. Women are 10 points more at risk than men,” he stressed.

Worse in recent decades

According to the director of Salut Mental i Adiccions del Institut d’Assistència Sanitària, Claudi Camps, the pandemic has “highlighted” the “vulnerability” of society, which drags down especially in recent decades. “We live in continuous change, but we are emotionally illiterate.” said Camps, who emphasized that the most important thing, in the end, is the “social bonds”.

The director of Salut Mental Catalunya, Marta Poll, has asserted that the worsening mental health of the general population has to do with the “lifestyles”. “In 2015 we already started to put on the table that this lifestyle young people couldn’t stand it, that they were starting to appear problems of an emotional nature.” Poll said. That is why he called for “generate spaces.” in which to talk about these issues. In this sense, the pandemic has “helped” to talk in a different way.

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Poll has also called for stop putting the focus of mental health solely on healthcare. “It is true that there is a lack of psychologists and psychiatrists, but we need to do other things. We need to focus on the social and community dimension.” has assessed.

More presence in the media

Another of the entities that has been present at the meeting is. Overtament Catalunya, which consisted of a “improvement” in the last years of the treatment mental health treatment by the media. “There is more interest and they are beginning to understand that we have to give a voice to the person with own experience.” has said Ariadna Rogero, of Overtament Catalunya.

The vice-president of the Consell Nacional de la Joventut de Catalunya, Júlia Rossana, has regretted the “stigma” and “criminalization”. that falls on young people when talking about them, also when discussing their mental health problems. “The 80% of the headlines when talking about young people are negative,” he explained. The precariousness that this group suffers does not make things any easier, but, Rossana assured, young people also want to participate in mental health and housing discussions, for example. “We want to participate, but we must be believed, we want to be heard.” he said.

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