Children and Young People's Mental Health: New Normal - Same Crisis

  • Thursday, 18 November 2021
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 17:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

All Open Forum Events staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19. We are committed to running in-person events as we recognise the importance of bringing ideas and people together. Our conferences will be delivered by responsible staff who have worked diligently to ensure your conference experience is safe, seamless and above all else – enjoyable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the likelihood of children and young people experiencing traumatic life events as more families are plunged into poverty, domestic abuse rises and more children suffer bereavements. YouGov conducted a poll of 4,000 children and young people on behalf of Barnardo's for the charity's report Generation Lockdown, more than two-fifths of respondents (41%) said they were more lonely as a result of lockdown, 38% were more worried, 37% felt more sad, 34% said they were more stressed and one-third (33%) reported suffering from a lack of sleep. 

This face-to-face conference will equip delegates with knowledge of emerging trends in the interaction between online platforms for gaming, gambling and addiction in children and young people, as well as tackling issues with access to services, early years interventions and the benefits of attaching couples therapy where there is inter-parental conflict to children and young people's mental health services.

Conference delegates will take away the following benefits of attending:

  • 10 CPD Points.
  • Hear from the Minister of State for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.
  • Learn from innovative solutions being delivered in-tandem with NHS, third-sector and local government initiatives providing targeted support to children whose mental health has deteriorated as a result of heightened anxieties, bereavement, changes in family circumstances - such as relationship strain or loss of employment, as a result of the pandemic.
  • Listen and network with leading experts in the field of couples therapy and early-years mental health, discussing the significance of parents reflecting on the nature and quality of their relationships - improving outcomes for children as well the importance of increasing mental health support in early years foundation stage children. 
  • Explore the impact of problematic gambling on children and young people’s mental health. England opened its first gambling clinic for children in response to the number of young people struggling with problematic gambling online quadrupling. NHS leaders and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee have called for legislation that prohibits access to particular types of online games/apps and introduces fair spending limits. Develop best practices for maintaining a healthy relationship between young people and the internet, considering a range of measures to prevent internet use escalating harmfully. 
  • Explore the increasing volume of research into how particular young communities face specific barriers to accessing CAMHS, such as experiences of dealing with institutions, perceptions of coercive power dynamics and anxieties surrounding identity and anonymity.
  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address

  • Tim McDougall, National Professional Advisor for Children and Young People, Care Quality Commission (CQC) (confirmed)
"Online Risks to Children & Young People: A Present Overview"

Dr Elena Martellozzo is an internationally recognised researcher on children and young people’s online behaviour, the analysis of sexual grooming and police practice in the area of child sexual abuse, online risks and victimisation. Elena develops and delivers training programmes for police officers working in child protection and Prometeo, an Italian leading charity who supports victims of sexual abuse.


Elena embedded herself into the London Metropolitan Police’s Paedophile and High Tech Crime Unit (2003 - 2009) as part of an innovative and collaborative partnership between operational policing and academic research. She was given unprecedented access to documents, staff, and facilities enabling her to view and understand online predators in their ‘natural environment’. Elena co-led a piece of research on behalf of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) on the impact online porn may have on young people. The findings of her research inform her teaching, police and other agencies strategy and practice both in Italy and the UK.


More recently, Elena is co-leading a research project for the Internet Watch Foundation, evaluating key performance indicators and desired outcomes in safeguarding cyberspace from illegal content by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Specifically, the research explores the links between the IWFs primary provisions, including Notice and Takedown (NTD) requests; the management and evolution of a URL black list; and IWFs effectiveness in and the provision of support to multi-stakeholders in securing and implementing a safe cyberspace.

  • Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive, Mersey Care NHS Trust (confirmed)
"Innovating in Response to COVID-19"

This presentation will review the transferable benefits discovered by innovating in response to the coronavirus pandemic that could be carried over into the post-COVID world, both for service users - such as streamlining access to clinicians, as well as benefits to CAMHS service providers; including strengthened multidisciplinary working as a result of more regular meetings between teams, made more convenient by digital platforms.


The Liverpool CAMHS Partnership is a collaboration between the NHS and third sector organisations including Barnardo's, the ADHD Foundation and Mersey Care Trust that has adapted to remote working to support children and young people with a wide range of needs, introducing a multi-stream of digital services that have been utilised by more than 800 children, young people, parents and carers since April 2020, including:

  • Establishing a dedicated 24/7 access and crisis care service for children and young people up to the age of 18 years, meaning that any child or young person, parent or carer in crisis can access a mental health clinician directly, at any time, seven days a week via a freephone number or an email address; with the option should it be necessary to receive a more detailed mental health assessment via a video link on the same or next day. 
  • Targeted individual/group support for vulnerable people living with a wide range of MH challenges including sleeping and eating disorders through video or telephone discussions, leading to face-to-face consultations (fully risk-assessed for COVID-19) when required.
  • Increasing and targeting social media activity to promote the services, give advice and share links to support. Instagram has been used to engage children and young people with services, online coffee mornings have been hosted for parents/carer forums to understand their needs.   

Headline Sponsor

Drawing and Talking is a safe method of working with children and adults to support underlying emotional difficulties that may be affecting their learning, behaviour, self-esteem and relationships. Early intervention addressing mental wellbeing is crucial to improving the lives of children, adolescents and adults who, when suffering from emotional pain or trauma that is left untreated, may go on to develop more serious mental health issues.


With one in four people suffering from poor mental health there is an ever-growing need and demand to provide support in many communities throughout the world. Government policies are now targeting professionals to expand their offering  Drawing and Talking have a comprehensive suite of training options designed to complement the work of independent professionals, schools, local services, charities or organisations operating across three continents. 


Question & Answer Session


Speech from the Minister of State

  • Nadine Dorries MP, Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Department for Health and Social Care (confirmed)

Nadine Dorries began her career as a nurse, having trained at Warrington General Hospital - she then went on to set up her own business and later became a director at BUPA. She was elected as the Member of Parliament for Mid Bedfordshire in May 2005, becoming an adviser to the former Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Oliver Letwin MP.

Nadine Dorries MP was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care in May 2020, having been promoted from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the department, appointed on 27 July 2019.


Coffee in the Networking Area

  • Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, Founder & Director, National Centre for Behavioural Addictions, UK (National Problem Gambling Clinic & National Centre for Gaming Disorders) (confirmed)
"Gambling Disorder in Children & Young People: An Overview"

This presentation will provide an overview of the factors contributing to the rise in children and young people developing a problematic gambling disorder, delivered by Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE - Founder and Director of the UK's National Centre for Behavioural Addictions.  

"The Importance of Increasing Mental Health Support in Primary Education"

In this talk Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten will focus on the challenges and opportunities when it comes to spotting signs of potential mental health issues in the primary school age group; acknowledging the voice of the child and parents, as well as developmental pathways and milestones. When we talk about mental health support in schools, most of us picture a teenager, and most of the training such as Mental Health First Aid is geared towards this age group. Yet, there are signs and symptoms of specific mental health issues at primary school and earlier on, even when children are in the EYFS [the early years foundation stage].


Getting involved early on with the right interventions, training and support for teachers, may mean preventing those signs from turning into diagnosable mental health issues. Moreover, Dr Sims-Schouten will highlight that if we fail to give children a method of expression, there is a danger that this will manifest itself as behavioural problems, with the child being blamed for their ‘bad behaviour’, receiving punishments rather than support. While teenagers may be able to articulate their feelings, younger children often cannot and sometimes they do not really understand what they are feeling, and it is more likely they will say they have a stomach ache or they are not feeling well. It is not the role of teachers to diagnose mental health problems or attempt to "fix" them. Yet, spotting early signs and communicating about any concerns with parents is essential. This also means a need for more training and support for teachers.


Case Study

Mayden Representative (confirmed)

Hear about the experience of a charity delivering NHS-commissioned community mental health services for children and young people, how they adjusted their service during the Covid 19 pandemic, and how the digital tools in iaptus CYP are supporting them. Presented with Mayden, creators of the iaptus CYP digital care record designed for CYP mental health services.


Question & Answer Session



We'll be working with venues to ensure lunch at our events is as delicious as ever and caters for a range of dietary preferences - whilst being served in a safe and seamless manner. Some of the new measures we will be introducing to this effect are:

  • One-way queuing systems with safe distancing in operation.
  • Individual snacking bags containing fruit, trail mix and sweets provided on arrival - this will prevent people mixing around snack bars during networking breaks.
  • Individually portioned dishes and pre-sealed cutlery will be served at collection points.  

We will request food is sourced locally to reduce food miles, use seasonal vegetables, red tractor certified meat and eggs from free range hens.


Chair's Afternoon Address

  • Tim McDougall, National Professional Advisor for Children and Young People, Care Quality Commission (CQC) (confirmed)
  • Dr Sarah Wynick, Head of Psychiatry CAMHS, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (confirmed)
  • Andrew Balfour, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Adult/Couple Psychotherapist, Tavistock Relationships (confirmed)
"Working with Parental Couples in CYPMHS"

The acknowledgement that, where there is inter-parental conflict, whatever work is done for the child will be undone if there is significant inter-couple conflict, led to the opening of discussions between Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust and local charity Tavistock Relationships around the idea of attaching couples therapy to children and young people’s mental health services. Since 2017 the couple’s therapist has delivered more than 300 sessions to parents of children who have been referred to CYMPHS. For some of these cases, the dysfunctional parental relationship was the primary cause of the children’s presenting symptoms. For others, the child had difficulties of their own, e.g. ADHD, depression and anxiety but the parental difficulties were either getting in the way of their treatment or exacerbating the symptoms. In some cases the child’s chronic illness had caused the parental conflict, which was then keeping the child stuck in a negative cycle and impeding recovery.


Both the psychiatrist leading the multidisciplinary team and also the social worker in the service found that having a couple therapist with psychoanalytic training and perspective was invaluable in helping parents reflect on the nature and quality of their relationships, as well as enabling the service as a whole to think about couple dynamics from a psychoanalytic perspective more often and in a more thorough way. Promisingly, outcomes for children (as well as parents) were very good, with reductions in children’s mental health problems and behavioural issues, and many of the cases closed as a result of this intervention.  

"Generation Lockdown"

The UK's leading children's charity commissioned YouGov to conduct a poll of 4,000 children and young people aged 8 - 24 year's old across Britain, asking them: how did you feel during lockdown? 

  • 41% said they feel more lonely than they did before the lockdown
  • 38% reported feeling more worried
  • 68% of respondents said not seeing their friends had been one of the most difficult things about lockdown
  • 37% said they felt more sad
  • 47% said they would still be more isolated from their friends once things return to normal
  • 33% disclosed that they had more trouble sleeping
  • 34% said they felt more stressed 

The charity is warning that lockdown(s) could have an impact on the metal health of a whole generation. This presentation will outline actions that can be taken forward from Barnardo's Generation Lockdown report to improve the mental health of children and young people after lockdowns.


Dr Hannah Prytherch, Clinical Psychologist, Adolescent Mental Health Team and Advantage Programme, Newham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (confirmed)

Dr Nick Isaacs, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Newham Child and Family Consultation Service (confirmed)

Konrad Deckers Dowber, Head of Advantage (confirmed)

"Removing Barriers to Accessing CAMHS: The Advantage Programme"

Delivered in partnership between East London NHS Foundation Trust, North East London NHS Foundation Trust and three London-based football community foundations - West Ham United Foundation, Arsenal in the Community and Leyton Orient Trust - Advantage is an innovative new mentoring programme for young people aged 14-21 years whose mental health and wellbeing has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Advantage provides young people with a dedicated mentor who works with them to set goals and help them get back on track to achieve and aspire in the new normal.


Case Study - NCFE

NCFE Representative (confirmed)

Presentation synopsis coming soon...


Question & Answer Session

  • Dr Sarah Wynick, Head of Psychiatry CAMHS, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (confirmed)
  • Andrew Balfour, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Adult/Couple Psychotherapist, Tavistock Relationships (confirmed)
  • Barnardo's Representative, Representative, Barnardo's (confirmed)
  • Dr Hannah Prytherch, Clinical Psychologist, Adolescent Mental Health Team and Advantage Programme, Newham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (confirmed)

Afternoon Refreshment Break


Case Study

  • Matt Buttery, Chief Executive Officer, Triple P UK (confirmed)
"Children's Mental Health: Parents as Part of the Solution"

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent category of mental disorders among children in the UK.  Whilst child-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is regarded as the gold standard treatment, more than 40% of participants do not demonstrate significant improvement.


The role of parental factors in the maintenance of child anxiety highlights the importance of working with parents, and a parent-focused intervention can provide capacity for treatment to be briefer, reduce financial burden, and minimise stigma for the child, plus in extend reach to address parent factors related to child anxiety (e.g. parental modelling of anxious behaviours and cognitions). 


This presentation will explore a new addition to Triple P’s internationally recognised system, Fear-Less Triple P, and cover it’s evidence and flexible delivery formats from group to parent self-directed online support.


Ranked by the United Nations as the world’s most extensively researched family skills training programme, Triple P is backed by more than 40 years of ongoing research. Triple P parenting programmes are used in 30 countries around the world.  Triple P UK is a certified B Corporation®. Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

  • Elaine Tabony, SCPHN Programme Lead for Health Visiting, School Nursing and Occupational Health Nursing, Brunel University (confirmed)
"Seasons for Growth"

Elaine Tabony has a background in paediatric nursing. Transferring her skills to the community as specialist community public health school nurse, Elaine was awarded the title Queens Nurse following an innovation award introducing the Seasons for Growth Grief Education programme. Currently, Programme Lead for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing at Brunel University London, Elaine was the first person to introduce the Seasons for Growth Grief Education to schools in England. Seasons for Growth Grief Education support children and young people following any significant loss such as death, separation, and divorce. Based on the belief that grief is a normal and valuable part of life, need is recognised to provide the opportunity to examine how grief, because of significant loss has impacted on our lives. Seasons for Growth provides the opportunity for each participant to integrate the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes to understand and to cope with loss and grief. This takes place in an atmosphere of like- to- like peer support rather than a ‘one-to-one’ process.


Closing Keynote

Nick Harrop, Head of External Affairs, Young Minds

"Early Interventions in the Community"

The NHS cannot meet the scale of need for CYPMH support on its own, it is crucial that more consideration is given to early interventions within our communities. Young Minds undertook the Early Intervention Review to identify the characteristics of effective early interventions and inform its recommendations to government on introducing a national, cross-departmental commitment and strategy to address childhood adversity and trauma. The review assessed existing models of early interventions in the community in the UK and abroad to identify the impact(s) of different service models, as well as working with young people and parents to develop principals of best practices. This presentation will make high-impact recommendations for the development of effective early interventions in the community.


Question & Answer Session

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

Elaine Tabony, SCPHN Programme Lead for Health Visiting, School Nursing and Occupational Health Nursing, Brunel University (confirmed)

Nick Harrop, Head of External Affairs, Young Minds (confirmed)


Chair's Closing Remarks and Conference Close

  • Tim McDougall, National Professional Advisor for Children and Young People, Care Quality Commission (CQC) (confirmed)
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Luke Boulter
  • Gain 10 CPD Points.
  • Take away lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic - virtual multidisciplinary team meetings have strengthened collaborative working across Trusts; virtual platforms/e-clinics have reduced waiting times for service users as well as allowing professionals and clinicians to operate around their new working environments. What should be continued or adapted to fit a return to post-COVID services?
  • Learn more about the direct implications of lockdown(s) on children and young people's mental health and attainment opportunities, including concerns that children who are already vulnerable are losing contact with teachers and other trusted adults; as well as how the transfer of more school/college resources online will compound already stagnant attainment gaps between disadvantaged students and their peers. 
  • Dissect how particular barriers to accessing services can be torn-down in light of an increasing volume of research into how young BAME communities and young people who identify as LGBT face specific barriers to accessing CAMHS, such as experiences of dealing with institutions, perceptions of coercive power dynamics as well as anxieties surrounding identity and anonymity.
  • Listen to proposals for more innovative mental health support and interventions for children in primary education, as well as reviewing results of pilot programmes integrating inter-parental and couples work into CAMHS and creative services meeting young people where they are through football and video gaming.     
  • Build contacts within the NHS, establish relationships with service providers outside the public sector; network and knowledge share with peers, keynote speakers, event sponsors and discussion panellists. Hear from NHS leaders and clinicians, Barnardo's, Young Minds, policy makers, academics, digital innovators and community foundations - informing and improving CAMHS provision and policy in the shadow of COVID-19.
  • Share, learn and develop best practices for protecting children from harmful content online, in the context of OFCOM’s annual report indicating 50% of the UK’s 10-year-olds own a Smartphone, 71% of 12-15 year old’s have a social media profile and 24% of 3-4 year old’s own a tablet.
  • Contact Details
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details




The Royal National Hotel, London

The Royal National Hotel, London

Offering breathtaking views across Russell Square the hotel is within easy walking distance to the British Museum. Well located with Russell Square underground station a 2 minute walk away.

Featured Events

  • Mental Health: Delivering Improved, Integrated and Accessible Services

    • 27 February 2014
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Contact us for venue
  • Mental Health: The Five Year Plan

    • 23 September 2015
    • 08:30 - 16:20
    • America Square Conference Centre, London
  • Mental Health: Better, Faster and Earlier Help

    • 04 March 2015
    • 08:30 - 16:45
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Promoting Integration and Early Intervention

    • 08 December 2016
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Mental Health: Forward Thinking – Delivering the Strategy

    • 15 September 2016
    • 08:30 - 16:45
    • America Square Conference Centre, London
  • Mental Health: Moving Forwards – The Five Year Plan

    • 10 March 2016
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Mental Health: Making the Forward Plans a Reality

    • 27 September 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:45
    • America Square Conference Centre, London
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Taking Early Action

    • 06 July 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • Mental Health: Forward Thinking – The Implementation Plan

    • 16 March 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: Improving Care, Treatment and Support

    • 12 December 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Improving Mental Health Outcomes: Integrating, Coordinating and Transforming Services

    • 25 April 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: Providing Effective Support

    • 03 July 2018
    • 08:30 - 17:00
    • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • Meeting Mental Health Needs: Practical Interventions to Improve Services

    • 12 December 2018
    • 08:30 - 15:50
    • Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London
  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: From Early Intervention to Improved Services

    • 12 February 2019
    • 08:25 - 15:45
    • Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London
  • Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes

    • 16 May 2019
    • 10:00 - 16:05
    • Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London
  • Safeguarding Students: Addressing Mental Health Needs

    • 26 November 2019
    • 08:30 - 16:25
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Downloads & Resources

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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