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Two Years with the Pandemic – Status of the Mental Health Services for Children and Young People

In the spring of 2021, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (Ukom) conducted a survey of the situation in services and support offers aimed at children and young people in need of mental health care. The survey covered municipal services, specialist health services, and voluntary organizations' low-threshold offers. Summarized, we found that the pandemic highlighted vulnerabilities in a system that was already under pressure.

The vulnerabilities in the service provision for children and young people in need of mental health care were pointed out in the report "Youth with Unresolved Conditions" published by Ukom in the fall of 2020.

The pandemic puts a magnifying glass on existing vulnerabilities in the system.

Last year's survey of the mental health of children and young people described a wave of increased influx of patients, especially for conditions such as severe eating disorders and suicidality in younger age groups. At that time, we could not say how long or steep the wave would become. Now, after another year of the pandemic and restrictions, we want to paint a picture of how the situation has developed nationally. We emphasize that this is a description of the situation in the health service now, and that the survey did not aim to find causal explanations.

The translation from Norwegian to English is based in AI. Ukom has reviewed, edited and quality assured the translation.