Participants of the first International Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy said that mental health professionals have a responsibility to actively work to preserve the health and well-being of children and youth through multidisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation.
The congress is organized by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Association (BHIDAPA) in partnership with UNICEF, and the topic of the conference is “The place of psychotherapy in preserving the health and well-being of children and adolescents.”
The goal of the congress, which will last until October 21, is to point out the need to raise awareness of all experts in the field of health, social protection, education and justice about the importance of multidisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation in preserving the health and well-being of children and youth.
“The child is not the past of the individual, it is his present and future. It seems important to us that through this Congress we send the message that through a responsible relationship with respect and love we nurture the child, and through him humanity,” said Mirela Badurina, gestalt psychotherapist and child and adolescent integrative psychotherapist, founder and director of BHIDAPA.
The results of research in BiH show that almost every fourth child is at high risk of developing a mental disorder, and that a large number of children suffer, and an insufficient number of experts who recognize specific symptoms in children and adolescents, said the organizers.
“The use of adult psychotherapy methods in the treatment of children is considered not only inadequate but also unethical. The laws on psychotherapy in the region require that psychotherapists who work with children and youth must have special additional education,” said Sabina Zijadic Husic, psychologist, gestalt psychotherapist. both a child and adolescent integrative psychotherapist.
Vice President of the Congress Program Committee and Assistant Federal Minister of Health Goran Čerkez believes that the gathering promotes new scientifically acceptable methods and approaches to support children and adolescents and is important not only for BiH but also for the region of Southeast Europe.
UNICEF spokeswoman Geeta Narayan, a major partner in Congress, said UNICEF wanted to see a world where no child dies from preventable diseases and where every child reaches their full potential.
To achieve this, UNICEF is monitoring the health needs of children at all ages and recognizes the need for stronger efforts to respond to growing health inequalities.