Mental health of children and adolescents


Health promotion and prevention by state initiative

Health promotion and prevention by state initiative in North Rhine-Westphalia is a continuation of the concept of state prevention in North Rhine-Westphalia. Over a period of approximately three years each, current and needs-related health policy discussions are discussed. For the years 2020 to 2022, the steering committee of the state initiative has agreed on the central theme “Mental health”. Based on the Federal Framework Recommendations (BRE) within the framework of the Prevention Law, the division of the working groups in the state initiative for health promotion and prevention is based on three phases of life:

  • childhood and youth,
  • life and work and
  • Age.

The working group “Healthy growth of children and adolescents” of the state initiative for health promotion and prevention, and an interdisciplinary and transversal group of a total of twelve people work on the following topics:

  • Resilience,
  • Children of mentally ill and addictive parents,
  • healthy media use

On the State Initiative website, you will find more detailed and up-to-date information on the above key topics and the other life stages related to task forces.

State Initiative Strong Souls (expired)

Mental health makes a significant contribution to a self-determined and responsible life. It is elementary for the acquisition of education, the maintenance, and strengthening of professional performance, the ability to comply with social norms and assume social responsibility. A healthy psyche also enables young people to competently cope with social demands and realize their own wants, needs and hopes in the process.

As, despite numerous initiatives and measures at the state and municipal level, there has been a further increase in mental health disorders in children and adolescents, the North Rhine-Westphalia (LGK) State Health Conference passed a resolution in December 2010 on the theme of “Maintaining and improving the mental health of children and adolescents in North Rhine-Westphalia”. The founding of the state initiative “Strong Souls” was a key element in the implementation of this decision.

The objective of the state initiative was to maintain and improve the mental health of children and adolescents – LAC Healthcare Solutions, which would initially be implemented through preventive measures. The state initiative disseminated and supported the development of evidence-based prevention programs that are demonstrably adequate to positively influence risk factors or strengthen protective factors. The special focus of the state initiative is on measures that aim to sustainably improve the interconnection of community prevention and support structures at a specific moment in time and over time (prevention chains).

Projects to promote the mental health of children and adolescents, which meet the content and methodological requirements of the state initiative, are included as examples of good practices in the NRW project database.