A proposal has been tabled for legislation to be passed making screening for mental and neurodevelopmental illnesses mandatory in the early age of 0-5 years and during childhood – that is between six and 12.
The proposal was submitted on Thursday before the House Health Committee by the House Health Committee of Youth.
And serving MPs have decided to request ministries involved in this crucial issue to consult with each other in order to study the possibility and push forward necessary implementation measures.
Youth committee members have stressed that available statistical data demonstrate the need to reduce the rate of mental and neurodevelopmental illnesses. They also argued that based on international studies, “for every $1 spent on early detection, $5 is subsequently saved from a patient’s treatment and follow-up.”
In Cyprus, about 15.2% of the population – that is 144,120 people – suffer from some sort of a mental illness at a time when most of these can be prevented.
At the same time, international data which also corresponds to Cyprus reality shows that 10% of children aged 5-16 have a diagnosed mental illness.