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The Northern Health Area launches the ‘Cactus Programme’ to provide mental health care for adolescents

22_06_27_The Northern Health Area launches the 'Cactus Programme' to provide mental health care for adolescents
The Northern Health Area launches the ‘Cactus Programme’ to provide mental health care for adolescents

The Clinical Management Unit (UGC) of Mental Health of the North Health Management Area of Almeria has launched the ‘Cactus Programme’, a pioneering initiative in Andalusia whose main function is the intensive comprehensive treatment of the adolescent population and their families in a situation of serious emotional crisis.

This is a type of treatment which is carried out in national reference units, such as the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid, and which is part of the extensive Child and Adolescent Mental Health Programme carried out by Mental Health in the Northern Health Area and which responds to the current demand for care of the child and adolescent population.

The Cactus Programme reinforces mental health care in a vital period for the formation of the personality, which helps to prevent more serious pathologies and to avoid a worse prognosis in adulthood. The treatment makes it possible to attend to the population of this Health Area, avoiding the need for patients to travel to other health centres.

The manager of the Northern Health Management Area, José Miguel Medina, emphasised that “the commitment, work and continuous training of the professionals is laying the foundations for continuous improvement in care, in order to be able to offer first class assistance to our patients”.

Cactus Programme

The adolescent and his family come for consultation with a serious emotional crisis at the Mental Health Unit Almeria North and the first interview with the doctor takes place. After the initial assessment, it is suggested that this is a ‘difficult adolescence’, which requires an intensive and multidisciplinary approach, with coordination with the School Guidance Teams and in many cases Social Services, as well as persistent work with the family and the adolescent.

After assessing the patient, an individualised itinerary is designed and implemented. All of them are included in the Cactus Programme census, and subsequently it is decided whether it is suitable at that moment to include them in dialectical behavioural therapy, or if on the contrary, the rest of the strategies of this therapy should be carried out.

The philosophy of the Cactus Programme is based on creating hope in the face of a difficult situation in which the adolescent lives alone and the family is bewildered and confused as in a desert.

 

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