A boost for labour insertion among young people with mental disorders

Barcelona Activa is to put three labour insertion projects into operation in May, aimed at young people with mental health disorders in three Barcelona districts. The projects form part of a new integrated service offering decentralised, specific and personalised support for some 150 young people between the ages of 16 and 35 with mental health problems.

The new service, tendered with a budget of 355,891 euros, is the result of work by the Area of Social Rights at Barcelona Activa, allowing for a study of the current situation, identifying a rise in youngsters with psychological issues and defining a stable and decentralised action plan. The plan allows for three support points to be opened up in the districts of Sant Andreu, Sant Martí and Nou Barris.

The opening of the three labour insertion facilities for young people comes within the context of three strategic plans to be carried out over the next few years: the mental health plan 2016-2022, the employment strategy for 2016-2020 and the plan to foster quality employment among young people (2016-2020).

Support provided for young people with mental disorders during training and job seeking will help combat stigmas and stereotypes suffered by the collective in the world of business and improve their prospects in the labour market. In the last few years, the Barcelona Public Health Agency has highlighted how the economic crisis has led to more psychological problems among many people, among other reasons due to job losses, precariousness and a negative outlook regarding the future.

Psychological suffering made worse by the economic crisis

The increase in suffering and anxiety has also equated to a rise in related healthcare. Mental health centres for children and young people dealt with a total of 12,066 minors in 2015, some 15% more than the previous year. Of these, 62% were boys. Among the adult population, the number of people attended to by mental health centres was 44,953 (some 5% more than the previous year). Of these, 60% were women.

During the presentation of the measure, the First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, affirmed: “As the municipal government we see support for vulnerability and people with insertion difficulties as a priority for the promotion of equal opportunities”. According to Pisarello, the situation of young people with mental pathologies is a healthcare issue, as well as a social and labour issue, given that if labour insertion is not solved there can end up being a lack of opportunities, along with marginalisation and social exclusion.