One-fourth of children have a parent with psychological problems
More than a quarter of children living in the Netherlands have at least one parent with a mental disorder or addiction, the Trimbos Institute reported on Friday. The organization’s assessment was largely based on its own long-term research.
The institute estimated that 900,000 minors currently have a parent with a mental illness, or an alcohol or drug problem. That figure is also increasing, according to the institute.
This increase is mainly because the number of people with diagnosable mental disorders in general is also increasing in the Netherlands. According to Trimbos, this now concerns 3.3 million people.
The institute warned that the children in these situations also have a higher risk of developing psychological problems themselves later in life. About 59,000 children have a parent who is both addicted to a substance and has a psychological disorder, such as depression, anxiety or ADHD. Such a “double diagnosis” makes care even more complex.
Reaching these children is also not an easy task. Because more than half of the parents had contact with a care provider in the past year, project leader Anouk de Gee said she sees opportunities to also reach children through adult care. “At the same time, there is a group of children, almost as large, to whom this does not apply. For these children, we need to find other ways to reach them with prevention,” she adds.
Reporting by ANP