The NSPCC recently found that in the last two years over 100,000 children referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were rejected for treatment. That's 150 children a day. Mental health issues are hitting the headlines more frequently than ever before, with children and young people being particularly vulnerable. Half of all mental health problems have been established by the age of 14, rising to 75% by age 24. While the national government has started implementing its Five-Year Forward View for Mental Health using £1.4 billion, with particular priority for children and young people, reports are not yet showing positive results.
Although the latest government budget of November 2017 promised £2.8bn of extra funding for the NHS, it did not give any particular mention of mental health services. However, a long-anticipated green paper was published in December 2017 on transforming mental health services for children and young people. There were several proposals in the green paper. This includes designating a senior mental health lead in schools, setting up a four-week waiting time for NHS CAMHS services, new mental health support teams in schools and all compulsory mental health awareness training. Currently, the average waiting time for children and adolescents is 11 weeks, but it can be up to 18 months, as reported by the Care Quality Commission.
As the policy and media response to this issue continuously grows, Open Forum Events invites you to Children and Young People's Mental Health: Providing Effective Support to analyse, discuss and learn about the latest developments and move the conversation forward.
Mental health in general is being discussed more amongst policymakers, public figures and celebrities alike. This is helping to raise awareness and reduce stigma, but it is too early to say if it is translating into effective action. There are numerous charities and organisations dedicated to improving mental health conditions but most of these do not have the funds that allow for the kind of significant change that the government could enable. These organisations provide research and policy recommendations to authorities to guide the government towards the best course of action.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) published a report which included the perspectives of 80 children in care and over 100 people in roles which entail safeguarding children like social workers, nurses, foster carers and both birth and adoptive parents. The report, led by the SCIE's Expert Working Group as created by Department for Education, found that services needed to be much more accessible, flexible and child-centered. It also stated that "mental health is a continuum and cannot be seen as a one-off diagnosis," which highlights the need for ongoing and regular treatment. The need for children and adolescents' perspective to be heard is further being recognized by the Scottish government putting £95,000 into a new youth commission to lead an in-depth study into children and young people's mental health.
There is also pressure on schools to take a more active role in mental health care for children and young people. The Department of Health published a 'Supporting mental health in schools and colleges' report in August 2017. The Education Policy Institute have also published several reports on children and young people's mental health. Findings include long waiting times for treatment, children and adolescents being treated on adult wards, negative effects of social media use and policymakers being out of date with technology.
Mental health services across the board are under increasing demands to provide for an ever-growing number of people. It is therefore essential that policymakers and implementers approach this issue correctly. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable when it comes to poverty, trauma and unhealthy social media use, which all inevitably effect their wellbeing and mental state.
While children and young people await these policies to come into action, they face delayed and potentially inadequate treatment. In October 2016, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt referred to CAMHS as 'possibly the biggest single area of weakness in NHS provision.' It is therefore essential that the necessary improvements are made in order to provide for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Statistics indicate that 1 in 10 children are affected by a mental health condition. Claire was one of those children and she would like to briefly share her story and highlight ways for teachers and educators to spot the early signs.
In December 2017, a long-awaited green paper was published to transform services for children and young people's mental health. This session will look at the areas covered by the green paper and the government's aims for the next stages.
The presentation concerns a case of patient X who attracted high levels of publicity due the degree of risk; and how the clinical team at Cygnet Hospital Bury supported this complex case resulting in a desirable outcome for the patient and family.
Over the last 16 years, young people have taught us a lot about how they want to get mental health support online. Key to success is anonymity, accessibility and choice. Written testimonials from children and young people dramatically illustrate the value of online therapeutic support.
In October 2017, the Care Quality Commission published phase one of their review of children and young people's mental health services followed by their phase two report in March 2018 . Both reports found that: "The system as a whole is complex and fragmented. Mental health care is funded, commissioned and provided by many different organisations that do not always work together in a joined-up way. As a result, and despite the best efforts of staff working in these services, too many children and young people have a poor experience of care and some are unable to access timely and appropriate support.
Children’s mental health in the UK is in crisis. One reason is that financial hardship makes parents more stressed and more likely to maltreat their children through abuse and/or neglect. Children adapt to harsh home situations by (wrongly) assuming that they deserve the maltreatment as there is something wrong with them and they learn to trust no one. Helping them once they have significant problems with aggression or self-harm is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
We know that the brain is most malleable in the early years – this is when intervention is needed and when it is most cost-effective. Early intervention prevents suffering and saves money in the longer term.
With CAMHS services seeking new ways in which to transform their service provision models to meet the growing demand and changing lifestyles of children, young people and families, the question of how to successfully integrate digital into clinical pathways is becoming increasingly important. Healios, the UK’s leading online provider of mental health and neurodevelopmental services will share their learnings on how to create an entirely new experience for children and young people by collaborating with CAMHS team to enhance and optimise access and choice for when, where and how children, young people and families choose to engage with their care.
Helen Barnard will set out how the current state of poverty in the UK, and how it affects mental health. She will also look ahead to the prospects for poverty over the next few years, and what is needed to reduce its grip on children’s lives.
When a community makes its families feel supported, the benefits for children will spread across the community.
Children today have never known a world without the Internet, and spend much of their lives online. What effects does this have on their social lives and psychological well-being? While a lot seems certain when following public and press debates, the science behind it often tells a different story
Exposure to trauma during childhood is relatively common, and can range from common accidental exposure (e.g. a serious car accident) to serious repeated intentional exposure (i.e. maltreatment). This talks aims to provide an overview of the prevalence of mental health difficulties following trauma, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), why some young people go on to develop PTSD following exposure, and the evidence base for psychological interventions following either one-off or multiple trauma exposures.
Using insight from YoungMinds' extensive work with children, young people, families, carers and frontline professionals, Marc explores the opportunities and challenges facing the children's mental health services and workforces in their attempts to translate and implement Future in Mind, the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, and the Government's Green Paper reforms.