Treatment faltering for mentally-ill youngsters in Denmark – The Post

Treatment faltering for mentally-ill youngsters in Denmark

Funding cannot keep up with increase in patients

Treatment for young psychiatric patients is failing say health workers (photo: Flachovatereza)
October 5th, 2016 11:19 am| by Ray W
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Despite extra billions making their way into the Danish mental health system, there is actually less money at hand to treat mentally-ill children, say heath professionals.

The extra funds are not enough to keep up with the rising number of patients needing help, according to health organisations Sundhedsdatastyrelsen and Danske Regioner.

Making things worse
A spokesperson for Bedre Psykiatri, a group representing the relatives of the mentally-ill, told Information the system is actually producing more sick children because they are not getting proper treatment.

“It is very concerning,” Birgit Elgaard from Bedre Psykiatri told Information.

“Right now the system is producing more sick children because they are not getting proper treatment, and it will affect the rest of their lives.”

A numbers game
The number of children seeking psychiatric help rose 33 percent from 2011 to 2015, which means the amount spent per patient has fallen by 13 percent.

Even in 2015, when psychiatric care in Denmark received a 2.2 billion kroner bump from the government, spending per patient still decreased.

Danske Regioner head Bent Hansen said the pinch has yet to affect the quality of care, but “it will happen if this trend continues.”

READ MORE: One in three Danes mentally ill

Elgaard said the entire mental health system will need to be upgraded in order to address the problem.