Of the four hundred young adults (12 – 21-year-olds), who attend psychology consultations at the Bom Jesus Health Centre, at least half are thought to be suffering from either depression or anxiety.
Carlos Mendonça, the coordinator of Madeira’s Psychology Health Unit (SESARAM), said that the 50% indicator includes young people from all over the island, although numbers vary between the different municipalities due to factors such as environment and school hours.
Many believe that depression is a 21st– century disease, and although initially, a taboo subject, more and more people are beginning to talk about mental health issues. However, this is a hidden disease and is becoming increasingly worrisome as factors such as school-related anxiety problems and worrying about the future are impacting adversely on the minds of young people.
Responding to the situation, the Order of Portuguese Psychologists states that there are more and more mental health services, but the growing demand for psychological help is proving a challenge.
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