letter from the president
I have always had a great dedication to issues concerning childhood and adolescence, as they are fundamental stages in our lives and our subsequent evolution.
After several years collaborating in projects of other institutions, I decided to create this Foundation in 1994.
The Foundation was born with the commitment to develop projects that would improve the quality of life for our society’s most vulnerable.
Children at risk, especially those under guardianship, were the driving force of our focus and commitment.
In coordination with the Community of Madrid, we took on the challenge of comprehensive care for children and adolescents under guardianship, with special emphasis on health care as well as human and academic guidance.
For 25 years we’ve created the opportunity for many children to join their families and society as citizens while solving many of their difficulties.
We’ve also initiated projects aimed at alleviating a lack of attention that children under guardianship often suffer when they come of age. Residences are also key to our cause, allowing young people at risk to continue their training and integrate into society under the best possible working conditions.
Multiple Sclerosis entered fully into our goals due to the lack of centers dedicated to this disease. In 2000 we started a complex public-private collaboration with the Community and City of Madrid to build and donate the first center in Spain which has the capacity to care for 158 patients with different degrees of the disease. The center has a capacity of 96 residential slots, 32 day center slots and 30 slots which are ambulatory.
It is the first Center specialized in Multiple Sclerosis with these characteristics, so when it launched with the goals of a Specialized Center, it also served as a Center for Innovation and Development and became a model for other centers with its cutting edge technological advances. Today it is fully integrated in the Community of Madrid’s social resources network and has served as a reference for the construction of other similar residences in Spain.
We recognize that Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is the weakest specialty in the Spanish health system. Mental illness generates profound suffering not only for the person who suffers it, but also for his or her environment.
The difficulties in obtaining an adequate and early diagnosis due to the lack of specialized professionals and the stigma it produces paint a picture of impotence and chronic suffering for the patients and their families.
In 2004 we launched an ambitious project to try to change this situation, opening three fronts of action:
Scholarships for Psychiatrists which imply specialized long-term training (two years) in world class hospitals specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry training.
Short term Scholarships (one year) for Psychiatrists and Psychologists to improve their professional skills.
Each year five research grants are awarded with the aim of deepening the understanding of these diseases.
DISSEMINATION AND AWARENESS:
With the White Paper on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry we wanted to put the shortcomings of this field on the map.
Every year, Scientific Conferences are held consisting of meetings between international specialists and Spanish professionals from the health, education and social services.
Throughout the year, both clinical and scientific articles are published in important journals of the field.
One of the objectives of these years of work is that the field of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry be definitively recognized in Spain and that it be part of the academic program of a medical degree, since only Bulgaria, Lithuania and Spain do not have it recognized as such and that the growth of the profession and of this scientific field continues in order to mitigate the pain of the patients and their families.
Thank you very much.