Children and Young People's Mental Health: Improving Access to Effective Support

  • Thursday, 18 April 2024
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

As one of the leading organisers of national mental health conferences, Open Forum Events is growing its portfolio of events focusing on the mental health needs of children and young people. The 10th Children and Young People's Mental Health conference will bring together key stakeholders, dedicated to improving young people’s lives, for a day of learning, conversation and networking.

There is growing concern in the UK of the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among children and young people and that support services are currently inadequate and unable to meet needs. In 2022, 18.0% of children aged 7 to 16 years and 22.0% of young people aged 17 to 24 years had a probable mental disorder. Mental health provision was struggling to meet demand before the pandemic, however, the residual impacts of Covid 19 and the current cost of living crisis has further exacerbated the situation.

The Children and Young People's Mental Health: Improving Access to Effective Support conference will present a series of plenary presentations, delivered by expert speakers, to update delegates on the current situation and discuss measures to make improvements. The agenda will highlight specific issues, showcase best practice and will share lived experience.

The conference is designed to encourage interactive engagement between speakers, contributors and delegates through the question and answer sessions and discussion groups, whilst interspersed between plenary sessions there will be ample opportunity for casual networking amongst peers and fellow professionals.

This biannual conference has seen strong delegate attendance at previous events and spaces are limited so reserve your place today.


This conference is designed to induce change with knowledge, innovation, and inspiration.
Any transformation of a process or service requires the input of products and services devised to make improvements such as digital technologies; training provision; workforce planning; outsourced services; data and analytics etc.
If your organisation supports change through your products and services, our delegates and conference participants will be ready to engage with you.

  • Confirmed Speakers

Event Sponsors and Supporters

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address


Opening Keynote Address

"The Trends in Children and Young People’s Mental Health in England"

The Mental Health of Children and Young People (MHCYP) survey series provides England’s Official Statistics on trends in child mental health. This national survey series is a unique resource that allows us to track trends over time. These surveys enable us to understand population need and collect data on topics that are relevant to children and young people, such as barriers to services and the cost of living crisis. This presentation will focus on describing the survey series and will provide an overview of some of the key findings from the survey series.


  • Dr Amina Al-Yassin, GP with a special interest in child and adolescent mental health, CNWL NHS Trust and Barnardo’s (confirmed)
"Mental Health Support for Children and Young People- and what to do whilst you wait for CAMHS"

This session will cover the initial primary care assessment of children and young people presenting with mental health and wellbeing difficulties. I will outline the different ways that GPs can provide support in a primary care setting including practical tools like the HEADSSS assessment and CBT based techniques. We all know that waiting lists for CAMHS are very long, up to 2 years in some areas, and so I will provide the audience with a host of ideas, tools and signposting services which they can use with their young patients whilst they wait (or if they don’t meet CAMHS thresholds)


  • Marie Young, CAMHS Eating Disorders Specialist Nurse, Bedfordshire and Luton CAMHS, East London Foundation Trust (confirmed)
"Tackling Eating Disorders"

Headline Sponsor

Mayden (confirmed)


Question and Answer Session

Allocated planned time for speakers to receive questions from the audience and induce further discussion.


Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

Speaker TBC, YGAM (confirmed)

  • Tigan Palmer, Head of Programme Development, The Kids Network (confirmed)
"Connecting for Change: How is early intervention mentoring supporting schools & improving children’s lives?"

Playing a vital role in the lives of hundreds of primary aged children across London, The Kids Network’s vision is of a world where every child gets to live the life they deserve. Through early intervention, trauma informed, anti-oppression mentoring we are a growing community of children and volunteers, connecting through fun, friendship and hardship to support positive outcomes for children. In this presentation we’ll share more about who we are, why we exist and our model. You’ll get an insight into how we incorporate trauma informed and anti-oppression practice, our impact and how we share best practice to ensure positive ripple effects across the sector.



Case Study

  • Dr Jake Anders, Associate Professor, UCL Centre for Education Policy (confirmed)
"Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic"

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people's health and wellbeing were substantial. There were increased reports of anxiety, sleep problems and panic attacks, and concerns about school, college and university also increased. A record number of children and young people were referred to mental health services in 2021. In this presentation, Jake will unpack some of the unequal ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have exacerbated an existing mental health crisis in young people. For example, higher proportions of elevated psychological distress were seen among those who reported having long COVID, bad/'severe long COVID', or who had to shield during the pandemic. Those who experienced major life events during the pandemic, such as being seriously ill and suffering from food affordability issues, were also more likely to report elevated psychological distress. Jake will also discuss implications for the education sector, including young people's continued engagement with and motivation for education, and their perceptions of support for their mental health from their schools.


Question and Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirements.


Chair’s Afternoon Address


Case Study

Meadows Psychology Service (Confirmed)

  • Fiona Malpass, Hearing Voices Project Manager, Mind in Camden (confirmed)
"“Don’t just offer quick fixes, I’ve heard it before”: Supporting young people who hear voices."

Supporting young people who hear voices.
Hearing voices is a surprisingly common experience, especially in children and young people, and although it is often associated with psychosis and related diagnoses, it can span across other frameworks of understanding voices in terms of trauma, spiritual emergences, and neurodivergence or individual difference. Voice Collective supports young people who hear voices or have other sensory experiences (including visual, tactile, taste and scents), or young people who may have confusing or difficult beliefs about the world. We are a unique service working with young people in a way that centres the sense they make of their experiences and being alongside young people in their distress. We offer a range of support services that look to empower those we work with to process their experiences and develop their own narratives and understandings of themselves and their lives. This includes one to one work, peer support spaces, and creative workshops. Support is also offered to families and professionals working with young people, in the form of one to one support, peer support groups, and trainings. This presentation will give an overview of Voice Collective, the work we do, and an introduction to effectively supporting children and young people who hear voices or have other related experiences.


Sharing Best Practice

Speaker TBC, UK Youth (confirmed) 


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break

  • Jan Rock, Founder and CEO, MATRIX Neurological (confirmed)
"Acquired Brain Injury – Its more common than you think!"

Childhood acquired brain injury is the biggest cause of death and disability in children and young people; yet it is the least recognised, least understood and least supported disability which has devastating life-long consequences for children and young people.
The NHS estimates that up to 500,000 children below the age of 16 attend A&E with a head injury every year. Many will have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that will not have been diagnosed. 90% of these children are discharged with no further follow up.
Public Health Data estimates that by the age of 4 years old, 50% of young children will have sustained a TBI during their early childhood.
The Government recently estimated that 1/6 children, in every classroom, in every school across the UK, is living with the hidden effects of an undiagnosed traumatic brain injury.
This presentation is based on real world lived-experience will cover childhood acquired brain injury; it’s significance in the 0-25 population; and its negative long term impact on children and young people as they move through education and into adulthood.

  • Verity Wilson, Family Link Worker, Healthworks and The Bloom Initiative; Expert by Experience bespoke Eating Disorder & Mental Health Training. (confirmed)
"Keeping the Wheels On’ Turning a Negative Lived Experience Into a Force for Good"

My daughter was ‘diagnosed’ with an eating ‘disorder’ when she was 12, in 2013. She was an inpatient for 8 months in 2017 at a hospital 65 miles away from our home, that has subsequently been closed down following a CQC report stating the patients were at high risk of ‘avoidable harm’. She was then re-admitted to a different general hospital in 2019. She is now 21 and at Manchester University. This presentation is our story; I want you to travel with us. It’s a long journey that we are still on, there have been many cross roads and bumps in the road and keeping the wheels on has been tough. (An analogy reinforced to us by my daughter’s clinical psychologist when she was an inpatient) We may never get to the destination of a life without disordered eating & the voice of an eating disorder so are re-routing and accepting the uncertainty this illness brings. Our destination is unknown…..however on the way we are both embracing what positives the harshest of times have taught us and are turning a negative lived experience into a force for good.


Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks & Event Close

  • Register for event

Having difficulty paying through Eventbrite? If you would like assistance registering your place please contact me on 0161 376 9007 and i'll be happy to assist. If you are awaiting funding you can request us to hold your place today to ensure you do not miss out.

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Luke Boulter
! ***NHS CUSTOMERS*** Please note that we are finding the ticket information is not being displayed across some organisations. If this is the case please get in touch on 0161 376 9007 and we can provide you the details, alternatively if you are using internet explorer to access this information please try an alternative browser e.g. Google Chrome where you might have more success.
  • Accrue 8 CPD points
  • Be updated on the prevalence of mental health conditions in the younger population and the current trend in the statistics
  • Receive an update on how current demand is to be met and how children and young people can be better supported at times of crisis
  • Hear how provision can be made more accessible and approachable
  • Gain insight into innovative support programmes and examples of best practice
  • Develop greater awareness of eating disorders and the most appropriate approach to support young people
  • Learn more about the support on offer to children and young people who hear voices and see visions
  • Understand the implications of the pandemic on the mental health on schoolchildren
  • Be inspired by a lived experience account
  • Engage in sharing knowledge sharing
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow professionals
  • Take advantage of professional networking and establish contacts
  • Contact Details
  • News
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details


  • Mental Health: New Event Launched

    • Posted on 10 April 2017
  • Improving Mental Health for All

    • Posted on 23 March 2017
  • Time to deliver a comprehensive mental health plan

    • Posted on 08 March 2017
    • by Isabella Goldie
  • Are we forgetting something? The link between mental health and parenting support is critical

    • Posted on 01 December 2016
    • by Matt Buttery
  • Improving the Whole Children and Young People’s Mental Health System

    • Posted on 25 November 2016
  • Housing is the foundation that mental health services need

    • Posted on 25 September 2017
    • by Chris Hampson
  • Does funding need a rethink for mental health services?

    • Posted on 06 October 2017
  • Importance of Schools in the Children and Young People’s Mental Health System

    • Posted on 01 December 2017
    • by Professor Dame Sue Bailey OBE
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Improving Care, Treatment and Support

    • Posted on 13 December 2017
  • Greater Manchester Devolution - A Chance for Mental Health Revolution

    • Posted on 04 December 2017
    • by Dr Sandeep Ranote
  • Improving Mental Health Outcomes: A Service User’s Perspective

    • Posted on 09 March 2018
    • by Polly Allen
  • Improving Mental Health Outcomes - Event Report

    • Posted on 02 May 2018
  • Mind the rhetoric-action gap: Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision

    • Posted on 01 June 2018
    • by Dr Terry Hanley
  • If you care about children’s mental health, solving UK poverty should be at the top of your to do list

    • Posted on 19 June 2018
    • by Helen Barnard

    • Posted on 08 November 2021
    • by Matt Buttery




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

  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: The Path to Recovery

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  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: Right Care-Right Time

    • 16 June 2022
    • 08:30 - 16:30
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  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Right Care, Right Place, First Time

    • 17 November 2022
    • 08:30 - 16:30
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  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: New Normal - Same Crisis

    • 18 November 2021
    • 08:30 - 17:15
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  • 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
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Taking Early Action

    • 06 July 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: Improving Care, Treatment and Support

    • 12 December 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Promoting Integration and Early Intervention

    • 08 December 2016
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Downloads & Resources

  • Open Forum Events Sponsorship Brochure
    Open Forum Events offer a number of partnership, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that can meet your marketing and business development needs.

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