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Children and Young People's Mental Health: From Early Intervention to Improved Services

  • Tuesday, 12 February 2019
  • Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London
  • 08:25 - 15:45
Expert Speakers
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  • Overview

NHS Digital's Mental Health Services Data Set suggests 389,727 young people were referred to, or being treated by children and young people's mental health services in April 2018. According to the Department for Health and Social Care, one-in-nine children aged between 5 - 15 struggled with a mental health condition in 2017. NHS England treats only one-in-four under 18's with diagnosable mental health conditions. Service providers are overwhelmed by the increasing demand for CAMHS.  

Children and young people's mental health service providers are not equipped to provide the necessary support to such a high number of children; referring those who need to access services onto waiting lists, recommending private healthcare providers as alternatives and delaying treatment until the young person reaches adulthood.

Local authorities, the NHS and CAMHS providers recognise the importance of addressing the mental health crisis impacting children and young people. However, adequate funding, service co-ordination and parity of esteem between physical and mental health are dependant on central government policy makers. The Department for Health and Social Care has committed to an initiative that will see 25 mental health support teams based in close proximity to schools and colleges; teams will provide additional support to school counsellors, nurses and educational psychologists to ensure children and young people have access to the right services. However, central government's approach has been criticised for neglecting the importance of preventative measures in favour of reactive treatment.       

This conference will bring together service providers in the public, charity and third sector, representatives from local authorities, the NHS and central government; academics, clinicians and service users in order to build a collective vision of how CAMHS can:

  • Deliver services that effectively support children and young people with mental health disorders.
  • Emphasise the importance of prevention in mental health wellbeing.
  • Reduce waiting times.
  • Implement an 'interim' service for those who fall between the children services age-limit and adult services minimum age requirement.
  • Influence central government policy to reflect the needs of service providers. 
  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Morning Chair's Opening Address

  • Professor Sue Powell, Nuffield Health Professor of Health and Wellbeing, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed)
  • Jenny George, Director of Health Value for Money Audit, National Audit Office (confirmed)
"NAO review of Mental health services for children and young people"

The NAO published its report on mental health services for children and young people on 8 October 2018. It  primarily considered NHS-funded services, but  also looked at services provided in other settings such as in schools and by local authorities where relevant. It concluded that government does not have a coherent and coordinated cross-sector response, it does not have the data to do this and the right levers are not in place to ensure that local actions deliver the national ambitions. This session examines the steps the government needs to take to remedy this.


Dr Caroline Jessel, Chair and Founder, Dandelion TimeLead for the South Regional Sustainability and Health Network, NHS England (2013-17) (confirmed)

We are experiencing a rising tide of challenges for children and young people which is impacting on their mental health and wellbeing. Caroline Jessel will set this in the wider of context of the economic, social and environmental issues that are shaping our collective experience. She will touch on her experience as prison doctor and a GP and how this has shaped her understanding, leading her to found Dandelion Time which addresses family problems holistically using the healing power of nature. Her experience as NHS lead for sustainability and health in the south region has also given her exposure to a wide variety of innovative approaches which are starting to reverse the current worrying trends. She will illustrate her talk with research evidence and relevant case studies. She will point the way for a more sustainable approach to providing mental health services and possibilities for system reform and a different approach to commissioning.

  • Professor Sue Powell, Nuffield Health Professor of Health and Wellbeing, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed)

The suicide rate in the higher education student population is rising. In 2014, there were 97 deaths by suicide for male students and 33 female students in England and Wales. Our study aimed to explore the health behaviours of students so that tailored interventions could be designed to support positive health and wellbeing during programmes of study.


This presentation will outline self-reported student behaviours and discuss how these findings are being used, not only to inform the design of inventions, but also to support the design of a health and wellbeing surveillance system for use in higher education.


Case Study

From April 2015, Solar (named by young people) was commissioned to provide the emotional wellbeing and mental health services to children and young people aged 0-19 in Solihull. Solar offers a different approach to providing mental health services to children, young people and families. Solar aims to create a comprehensive system, designed around the needs of children and young people, which keeps children and young people healthy as well as treating those that are ill. The strategy prioritises resilience, partnership and co-production. Solar was set up as a service not about thresholds or tiers but about timely access to appropriate support in line with children and young people’s needs.


Q&A Session

  • Jenny George, Director of Health Value for Money Audit, National Audit Office (confirmed)
  • Professor Sue Powell, Nuffield Health Professor of Health and Wellbeing, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed)
  • Dr Caroline Jessel, Chair of Trustee Board, Dandelion Time (confirmed)
  • Solar Services, CAMHS Providers, Solar Services (confirmed)

Refreshment Break in the Networking Area


Case Study

  • Matt Buttery, Chief Executive Officer, Triple P UK (confirmed)

Addressing factors relating to parenting is critically important if an approach is to address the social determinants of health. Evidence-based parenting programmes can offer timely support for families who can’t access CAMHS services to overcome issues that can have adverse, lifelong impacts on children’s mental health and wellbeing. Early Help teams are often well-placed to reach the most vulnerable in the community in a way that encourages more families to put their hands up for help. Digital solutions with proven evidence of effectiveness in randomised controlled trials allows this support to be offered sustainably, at scale and cost effectively.


Panel Discussion

Carol Bridges, Lead Therapeutic Practitioner, Dandelion Time (confirmed)

Matt Buttery, Chief Executive Officer, Triple P UK (confirmed)

Richard Andrews, Chairman and CEO, Healios (confirmed)

"Improving Integration Between Services"

This panel discussion will consist of people spearheading organisations that provide unique services for children, young people and parents. Drawing on their collective experiences developed over decades working in CAMHS; Carol, Richard and Matt will discuss:

  • Improving integration between services.
  • The importance of providing distinct services that can cater for a wide range of traumas and deliver tailored solutions.
  • Why it's important not to be constrained by conventional 'clinical' thought when developing services for children and young people. 

Lunch in the Networking Area


Afternoon Chair's Address

  • Dr Bernadka Dubicka, Chair of Child and Adolescent Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) (confirmed)

Case Study

As professionals on the front-line providing services in mental health to millions already in need, how do we ensure that we are able to manage the Governments increasing pressure being placed upon us.  The NHS and other services currently do not have the capacity to effectively assist everyone who has been identified as needing support, and many people with mild to moderate needs are therefore not being seen.


With 50% of mental health problems established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. Drawing and Talking LTD, one of the UK’s leading early intervention training companies, discusses the ever growing need to identify effective early interventions that can support those suffering, in order to reduce the impact and pressure being placed on NHS and specialists to meet targets set out in the Green Paper.

  • Dr Bernadka Dubicka, Chair of Child and Adolescent Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) (confirmed)

This is an unprecedented time for children and young people’s mental health. This talk will describe some of areas of work at the RCPsych with regards to improving services for CYP.  Key concerns include the recruitment, retention and training of the workforce; ensuring funds reach the frontline; interventions that are evidence based, cost-effective and timely, as well as reaching CYP at all ages, including young adults and infants; and most importantly that children and young people’s voices are heard in how services are delivered to them.


Case Study

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.


Case Study

  • Gary Siva, Chief Executive Officer, Zumos (confirmed)

Zumos is an expertly written, peer reviewed 24/7 online service which is kite-marked by CAMHS and measures, builds and maintains resilience through supportive motivational recordings, CBM based games and personality quizzes. We guide towards approved further help readings, helplines, videos and web-links avoiding misinformation from searching the internet!

Zumos empowers the school to utilise it’s resources in the areas most in need by offering real-time statistical feedback and reporting that can measure the change! We have rolled out our service across UK schools and are getting fantastic feedback from schools about how the service has really helped support their school.


Q&A Session

  • Catherine Beagley, CEO of Drawing and Talking Ltd, Drawing & Talking (confirmed)
  • Dr Bernadka Dubicka, Chair of Child and Adolescent Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) (confirmed)
  • Richard Andrews, Chairman and CEO, Healios (confirmed)
  • Gary Siva, Chief Executive Officer, Zumos (confirmed)

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Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London

Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London

In 2002 the building was placed on the Listed Buildings at Risk Register with the Mary Ward House trust having failed to secure lottery funding.

The building has been painstakingly renovated to ensure that this extremely important part of National Heritage continues to serve as a place of learning, knowledge dissemination and promotion of equality.

We are continually reinvesting in upgrading and renovating the building to ensure it continues to serve society through the advancement of education (by the establishment and maintenance of a Grade 1 Listed building/museum)

This objective directly enables us in; the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage and science; the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage; the advancement of citizenship or community development

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who will attend

  • Academics
  • Acute and Community Mental Health Services
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Area Managers
  • Business / Service Development Managers
  • CAMHS Clinicians
  • CAMHS Services
  • Care Co-Ordinators
  • Chairs of NHS Trust Board
  • Chief Constables
  • Chief Executives and Assistant Chief Executives
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Commissioning Managers
  • Directors / Heads of Adult Social Services
  • Directors / Heads of Children's Social Services
  • Directors / Heads of Housing
  • Directors / Heads of Nursing
  • Directors / Heads of Public Health
  • Disability Advisors
  • Equality and Diversity / Inclusion Managers
  • General Practitioners and Practice Managers
  • Heads of Commissioning
  • Heads of Service
  • Heads of Strategy
  • Headteachers
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards and Managers
  • Housing Associations
  • Medical Directors / Officers
  • Mental Health Researchers
  • Nurses
  • Pastoral Care Teams
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • School Counsellors
  • Social Workers