Long waiting lists North Holland child psychologists: children have to wait months for help

The practice of child psychology in North Holland has to do with ever longer queues. The aftermath of the restless, often lonely corona period and the performance society give rise to many complaints. “More and more young people and children are coming into care. We have never had such long queues,” he says practice owner and coordinating therapist Christel Bos from child psychologists Noord-Holland Noord to NH News.

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The waiting lists for child and youth psychology (0-18 years) in North Holland are increasing. After a round of phone calls from NH News to child psychology practices, it appears that some are even too busy to even talk to us. Other practices recognize the problem, including Christel Bos from Kinderpsychologigen Noord-Holland Noord.

Bos says that the staff shortage in special care is great. Due to the decentralization of healthcare, many separate healthcare providers have entered the market. According to her, this has created a significant gap in the supply. “Many employees from youth care and special care have left and set up smaller organisations. The waiting times in that care are now longer than ever.”

“Reasons for registration range from anxiety disorders, depression, trauma treatment to ADHD”

secretary of Invivo kids amstelveen

At Kinderpsychologigen NHN, the waiting time is more than doubled. Bos: “In our practice, we treat people from 2 to 18 years old. Normally we had a queue of five weeks, which has now increased to ten to twelve weeks, just more than double.”

Expectations

The corona period is partly to blame for the complaints that young people are experiencing today. For many younger families, a lot has happened at home during the ‘isolation period’. “Vulnerable families became even more vulnerable: young children faced a lot of turmoil and tension, often from their parents. Young people spent far too much time in their room.”

Because of the COVID-19 virus, the young people have ‘missed out on a part of their lives’, she adds. “Corona was a fear they grew up with. They didn’t see anyone and were gloomy or depressed.”

In addition, there is a lot of pressure on young people today, says Bos. “Everything is expected: You have to look good, have a good relationship, and things have to go well at work or school. Young people also grow up with many lasting fears. The world has become unsafe.”

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It is the performance community that causes many young people to come to Raquel Abrahams with complaints. Abrahams is a pediatrician and vice-chairman of AJN Jeugdartsen Nederland. The young people who speak to her often have initial complaints and do not yet need specialist medical treatment.

And this is precisely what, according to Abrahams, is so important: to identify complaints at an early stage and to help the young people preventively. According to her, this makes it easier for the specialist and ensures that complaints among young people do not derail unnecessarily. “It has a big impact on someone’s life,” she emphasizes.

Increasing queue

The secretariat for Invivo Kids Amstelveen treats young people from 4 to 18 years of age. The practice has been forced to expand the care team because the waiting list is also increasing here. “Children who sign up at the moment will get their turn at the end of March, beginning of April,” says the practice.

“Everything is expected: you have to look good, have a good relationship and do well at work or school”

Christel Bos – Child psychologist North Holland North

The reasons for registration vary from anxiety disorders, depression, trauma processing to ADHD. There is a striking number of young people among the registrations. “They enroll in large numbers. The largest group is in junior high school.”

A practice in Amsterdam Nord – specializing in children and young people – indicates that the queues are ‘big’. The practice does not want the name to be mentioned because it will not hinder the practice’s accessibility to clients.

“At the moment the queues are around five months, before corona it was around two months,” says an employee. “The number of employees has also doubled, but that doesn’t matter. It’s still busy. We can’t speed up the process, you want to deliver the quality that’s needed.”

Preventive care

Abrahams speaks to many young people with various complaints. You can help a lot with low-threshold care, she says. Only some need specialist help. That is why she is in favor of more preventive measures. Schools can play an important role in this.

“We need parties that provide care to the young in time.” Since the decentralization of health care, such gatekeepers have been dispersed. Often the alarm is also sounded too late. “As a society, we must provide help earlier. Now you only get care if you are already ill,” she concludes.

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