The aims of this proposal are to foster the early detection of emotional problems in young people and to increase the number of mental health professionals in Spain, to help them carry out their work with children and youth in the area of education and health and to promote emotional mental health and well-being as one of the strategic lines within the Spanish National Research Plan

You can download the full text of the non-legislative (PNL) proposal from this link:

4/03/2019.- The Popular party presented a non-legislative proposal (Proposición No de Ley; PNL) before the Congress of Deputies to establish actions that seek to promote mental health and emotional well-being in young people, an initiative undertaken by the Network for the PROmotion of EMotional health and well-being in Adolescents (Red PROEMA), led by the University of Jaén (UJA).

With this proposal, the Popular party urges the government to implement this aim via three actions: offering evidence-based early detection for adolescents with – or at risk of developing ­ – emotional problems in the education and primary healthcare setting; including child/youth emotional mental health and well-being as a strategic line within the Spanish National Research Plan; and increasing the number of mental health professionals in Spain.

“The implementation of an early detection protocol by education and healthcare personnel will be accompanied by training previously received from health and clinical psychologists. As such, it is important to standardise the screening tools for schools and health centres, paying particular attention to rural areas and vulnerable groups”, explained Luis Joaquín García, PI of the PROEMA network. Furthermore, the PNL outlines the three areas most in need of more mental health professionals at a national level: the educational setting and the healthcare system’s primary care offering, with an increase in posts for and activities carried out by psychologists specialising in therapy for children and adolescents alongside general health psychologists; and specialist care, considering an increase in positions offered in clinical psychology (PIR) and for mental health unit staff.

This initiative has been promoted by the Popular party on the basis of information shared by the PROEMA network and the meeting held several weeks ago between Luis Joaquín García, lecturer with the Department of Psychology at the UJA and the network’s PI, and Popular party MPs Silvia Heredia, spokesperson with the Commission for the Rights of Children and Adolescents and member of the Commission for Health, Consumption and Social Welfare; Loreto Cascales, member of the Commission for Science, Innovation and Universities and second vice-president of the Commission for the Rights of Children and Adolescents; and Águeda Reynés, deputy spokesperson with the Commission for the Rights of Children and Adolescents.

During this meeting, Luis Joaquín García presented the PROEM network’s report and roadmap, highlighting youth mental health and well-being as key issues. He secured commitment from parliamentary members to work together towards developing this PNL.

“Emotional problems are the most underdetected and undertreated problems. In fact, there are studies that report mood disorders as the least identified mental health problems in young people. Thus, it is necessary to enhance their early detection, allowing access to a more effective evidence-based intervention” explained Luis Joaquín García. From this perspective, he stressed “the importance of increasing the number of professionals to provide better care. As highlighted in the document drawn up by the PROEM network (, there is no future without emotionally healthy adolescents”.

The PNL has been presented, and when the new legislative term begins its parliamentary process will get underway, with the possibility to incorporate amendments put forward by other groups, and to be discussed and voted on before a plenary session of the Congress of Deputies.

The PROEMA network comprises members specialising in mental health and other areas from different universities: Luis Joaquín García, representative from the University of Jaén; Juan Antonio Moriana from the University of Córdoba; Antonio Cano from the Complutense University of Madrid; Josefa Canals from the Rovira i Virgili University; Maite Garaigordobil from the University of the Basque Country; Esther Calvete from the University of Deusto; and José Antonio Piqueras from Miguel Hernández University, alongside other partners within the framework of the PROEM network.

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