Training for paediatricians for mental health crisis care: Claire Miller guest post

I often wonder about how much time paediatric trainees spend on learning and rehearsing the steps of all the various APLS algorithms. Indeed,  we are encouraged to do so as the curriculum and assessment process that we go through during our training has a strong focus on physical health. We are then further armed for the frontline with various medical calculator applications on our phones that can ease us through calculations in difficult moments. What can we have in our minds and pockets to help us when children and young people present to a/e with unmet mental health needs? Maybe the attached handouts on mental state examination and risk assessment would be a start. They are assimilated from information contained in a fabulous free resource called MindEd. Have a look and see if it helps….

Mental state examination

MindEd E learning references


ACAMH events in June on Autistic Spectrum

The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) presents

2 Events on Autism Spectrum Conditions –

Monday 5 June

Tuesday 6 – Wednesday 7 June 2017

ORT House

126 Albert Street, Camden, London, NW1 7NE

The first, 1-day intro-class, will look at the introduction to Autism Spectrum Conditions:

The day is aimed at clinicians who are seeking a good grounding in the understanding and identification of Autism Spectrum Conditions.

The second, 2-day skills updating conference, will look to; develop your knowledge and confidence in working with children and young people with ASC, and their families, after diagnosis.


Speaker’s line-up

Dr Jenny Milne is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist she has worked in the NHS with young people and their families with ASC for over 15 years. She now works independently with a number of private and non-profit organisations in the assessment and management of social interaction difficulties.  Dr Milne also works with NHS Trusts on waiting list initiatives to help reduce waiting times for ASC assessments. A ADOS-2 Trainer she is also trained/experienced in a variety of intervention tools and parent and child programmes (for example EarlyBird Plus, Cygnet and Secret Agent Society).


Anna Wilkinson is a Speech and Language Therapist specialising in Autism Spectrum Conditions. She has worked within the NHS and non-profit organisations for the last 13 years to support children and young people with ASC (alongside their families and the care team involved) within a variety of education and community settings. Anna is passionate in supporting clinicians within mental health services to expand their knowledge and confidence in devising creative, flexible ways of working with CYP with ASC to promote service engagement and positive outcomes. She is experienced in ‘autism friendly’ intervention approaches (such as Carol Gray’s Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations, TEACCH, PECS, Intensive Interaction, SCERTS, Talking Mats and EarlyBird Plus and Cygnet) and adheres to the National Autistic Society’s ‘SPELL’ framework in her practice.



Introduction to Autism Spectrum Conditions – Book online (credit or debit card payment only)

ACAMH member: £100 / £90 if also attending autism event 6-7 June

Non-ACAMH member: £125 / £112.50 if also attending autism event 6-7 June


2-Day Skills Updating Conference on Autism Spectrum Conditions – Book online (credit or debit card payment only)
ACAMH member: £200 / £180 if also attending autism event 5 June

Non-ACAMH member: £250 / £225 if also attending autism event 5 June
Print out and post or fax back the attached PDF booking forms to 020 7403 7081Autism_2017_6Jun_TBC_v4introToAutism_2017_5Jun_TBC_v3


If you’d prefer to book over the phone with your credit card please call  tel: 020 7403 7458




ACAMH conferences present a fantastic opportunity to network with your peers at the start of the day or during coffee and lunch breaks.




ACAMH a truly multi-disciplinary membership organisation focused on ‘bridging’ the gap between rigorous research and best practice relating to children’s mental health. ACAMH holds a body of knowledge and acts as an information hub for sharing best practice to benefit all of those who work with children. ACAMH comprises a unique membership of clinicians, practitioners and world-leading child mental health researchers, working across an array of child and adolescent mental health domains.

  • ACAMH raises standards in the understanding and management of child mental health issues. It publishes the JCPP, an internationally acclaimed and world-leading child & adolescent psychology and psychiatry journal, that brings together empirical research, clinical studies and reviews in order to advance how we understand and approach child and adolescent mental health.
  • ACAMH also publishes the CAMH journal, a high quality, peer-review of child and adolescent mental health services research, which has articles for practitioners describing evidence-based clinical methods and clinically orientated research.
  • ACAMH supports the professional development of all those working to support the mental health of children and young people, by running a variety of conferences, training events, special interest groups and masterclasses throughout the year on topical issues, as well as providing access to a library of engaging on-line CPD topics delivered by national experts.
  • ACAMH is committed to sharing information & best practice across the UK through its network of branches, with volunteers from a range of professional disciplines dedicated to creating a CAMH community that is making a difference.


Twitter – Follow @ACAMH

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LinkedIn – Follow the ACAMH company page






Mariama Jalloh

Events Executive


ACAMH | St Saviour’s House | 39-41 Union Street | London | SE1 1SD | UK

T: +44 (0)20 7403 7458

F: +44 (0)20 7403 7081

Keep up to date: Website | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Forthcoming Branch events

New ACAMH conference announced

The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) presents the

-2017 Jack Tizard Memorial Conference and Lecture –

Public mental health for children and young people: addressing mental health needs in schools and communities.

Friday 16 June 2017

Royal College of Physicians, London NW1 4LE


This day conference brings an outstanding line up of speakers who are world renowned practitioners, clinicians, teachers and researchers addressing mental health needs in schools and communities.  Their sessions will focus on topics that draw on up to date research and practice innovation on public mental health in schools: including, partnerships between schools and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) dealing with mental health problems, enhancing and measuring wellbeing in children and young people, new trialling of a classroom management intervention, and ADHD interventions in schools.

The conference will include the ACAMH AGM, an all-day poster display and discussion opportunities. We welcome poster abstract submissions related to the meeting theme, as well as other topics related to child and adolescent mental health.


Professor Lord Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, where he was until 2003 the founder-director of the Centre for Economic Performance.  He now heads the Centre’s Programme on Well-Being.  Since 2000 he has been a member of the House of Lords and is a keen advocate of making subjective well-being of the people the central objective of governments.

Gregor Henderson, the National Lead for Wellbeing and Mental Health with Public Health England, setup in 2013 they are responsible for leading work nationally on improving the health and wellbeing of the population in England.

Professor Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Exeter Medical School. Tamsin is also honorary consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Devon Partnership Trust. Her session will focus on new findings from a large cluster randomised trial of a classroom management intervention.

Professor Eric Taylor, a leading child psychiatrist, he has been awarded the Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research by NARSAD. His session will address new findings on ADHD interventions in schools.

Professor Miranda Wolpert, is Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) an academic unit, part of both University College London and the Anna Freud Centre committed to developing and disseminating the evidence base in relation to child mental health service provision. Her session will focus on the measurement of wellbeing in children and young people.

Jaime Smith, Head of Schools Engagement, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and Steve Rippin, Assistant Head teacher, Tapton School, Sheffield, will focus on their experiences of partnerships between schools and CAMHS, as part of the national Schools and Mental Health Link Pilot. This project, led by the Anna Freud Centre, is working with the Department for Education and NHS England to improve child mental health services in over 250 schools.


ACAMH member: £140

Non-ACAMH member: £165

ACAMH student/trainee/retired member: £65

Book online (credit or debit card payment only)

Print out and post or fax back the attached PDF booking form to 020 7403 7081

If you’d prefer to book over the phone with your credit card please call tel: 020 7403 7458

New courses from HCUK

Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees Providing Emotional First Aid for Refugees, Second Annual Conference

Monday 22 May 2017
De Vere Conference Centre, London

A Joint Conference Healthcare Conferences UK & The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

This important and timely conference will support delegates to better understand and meet the needs of asylum seekers and refugees. Through national updates, practical case studies and extended interactive masterclasses the conference will look at developing local services and responses, developing early access to psychological first aid, delivering psychosocial support to refugees. The conference also includes interactive sessions drawing on theory from psychotherapy (eg the effects of counter transference), narrative and systemic family approaches, community and liberation practices, working with asylum seekers and refugees who have experienced trauma, and therapeutic care of unaccompanied young people seeking asylum.

For further information and to book your place visit or

Follow the conference on Twitter #RefugeeMentalHealth





Safeguarding Children: Level 3 Mandatory Safeguarding Training in Accordance with the Intercollegiate Guidelines

Monday 12 June 2017
De Vere, West One, London

The course is interactive and aims to highlight the key principles of safeguarding children and young people, with a view to embedding best practice in safeguarding in accordance with the core UK legislative framework and guidance. Healthcare and allied professionals requiring level 3 mandatory safeguarding children and young adults training and those professionals requiring an insight into safeguarding principles and best practice. Certificates for this training counts as the 3 yearly safeguarding children training in accordance with Intercollegiate guidelines.

For further information and to book your place visit or email

EXCELLENT psychopharmacology child module that will sell out

The November 2017 Child and Adolescent Module will be held on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 November at the County Hotel in Newcastle.  A programme for the meeting is below. It begins at 10am on Thursday 16 November and ends at 3.50pm on Friday 17 November.


The Child Module is extremely popular and always over-subscribed.  Places are limited and you are encouraged to book early if you wish to attend. The meeting is not bookable at the BAP website but you are welcome to forward this email to colleagues if you wish.


The registration fee is £390. Accommodation is also available for Thursday 16 November at the County Hotel at a cost of £75 B&B if required.  If you book accommodation via the credit/debit card form, you will not be charged for the accommodation at this stage but will pay on departure from the hotel.  Those booking via invoice request will have the accommodation charge added to the invoice.


Bookings may be made in two ways:


With a credit/debit card via this link:


By requesting an invoice via this link:

Please note that we will not invoice individual delegates – only finance offices


When the meeting is full the above links will be disabled.

ACAMH conference in March on Eating Disorders

2017 Emanuel Miller Lecture and National Conference
Eating and feeding disorders in children and young people – advances in basic science, prevention and treatment

Date: Friday 10 March 2017
Venue: Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LE

Delegate registration

ACAMH member: £140
Non-ACAMH member: £165
ACAMH student/trainee/retired member: £65

Book online at (credit or debit card payment only)

Print out and post or fax back the attached PDF booking form to 020 7403 7081

If you’d prefer to book over the phone with your credit card please call tel: 020 7403 7458


This day conference brings an outstanding line up of speakers who are world renowned practitioners, clinicians and researchers in the area of eating isorders in young people.

Their talks will focus on topics that draw on up to date research and practice innovation, including: translating basic neuroscience into clinical practice in anorexia nervosa, treatment for anorexia nervosa, and for avoidant and restrictive food intake disorder, and the role of the voluntary sector in treatment and prevention of eating disorders.


Emanuel Miller Lecture: From basic research to clinical treatment in adolescent anorexia nervosa – the benefit of looking both ways
Professor Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann, University of Aachen, Germany

Standardising care for young people with Eating Disorders: is it feasible or desirable?
Dr Dasha Nicholls, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Managing Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder in young people
Dr Rachel Bryant-Waugh, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

The changing role of the charity sector – how BEAT helps more people get help with their eating disorder faster
Andrew Radford, CEO of BEAT

Early interventions in eating disorders – an adult psychiatrists perspective
Professor Ulrike Schmidt, Maudsley Hospital, London

Final speaker – TBC

Excellent-looking conference on mind/body problems in Paediatrics

This looks great:

Just Faking It?: Exploring issues of the mind and body underlying somatising disorders
Friday 3 February 2017
Hilton Southampton, Bracken Place, Chilworth, SO16 3RB

Somatic symptoms can be distressing and have a negative impact on day-to-day life. When the amount of distress that is experienced and the degree to which functioning is affected seem disproportionate or when no medical explanation for these symptoms can be found, management and treatment of these difficulties becomes infinitely more complex.

Covering a wide range of topics, this conference explores key issues in our understanding and management of young people with somatisation disorders.

This conference is suitable for those working with children and young people in primary care, education, social care and youth-based services as well as those working in both physical and mental health.

Content covered during the day includes:

·       A look back at the concept of hysteria, its changing meaning and its fit in modern day psychiatry;

·       An exploration of the complex issues encountered when navigating the interfaces between somatisation and safeguarding;

·       An overview of the evidence base for treating functional symptoms as well as the skills needed for engaging young people with assessment and treatment of these;

·      Examination of non-attendance at school and how this is understood;

Principles of parenting- what you need to know

There is a vast market in courses/ books/websites to help parents who are struggling with their children’s behaviour. Fortunately, they are all founded on the same core principles, which are summarised below. What one is essentially doing is implementing new habits, forming new structures of reward and consequences to make the organisation (family) run more smoothly and improving interpersonal relationships. (It is a process that should be familiar to anyone working in the NHS, who will also understand its difficulty!)


In order for behavioural management to be effective, it needs to be based on a ‘good enough’ relationship. At some level, the child needs to care about the parent’s feelings, and also feel good about themselves, to cope with the changes the parent wants.

Promoting the emotional security of the relationship through shared activities is useful, so any shared activity is worthwhile, but play is paramount for younger children. Play led by the child for a short (10 minute) period is advised, but any play where the adult attention is on the child is useful.

‘Catching them being good’ and noticing when they have made small positive steps is a powerful tool.

Targeted praise: vague, general praise (aren’t you a good boy) has been shown to be worse than none at all, whereas specific praise (I like how you did X) is beneficial.


Much attention is focused on children’s screen time, but it is perhaps more important that parents limit the time they are unavailable to their children due to phone conversations, Facebook etc. Unlike most household tasks, these cannot be combined with conversation with the child. Parents must learn to distinguish between listening to the child respectfully and granting the child’s every wish, as learning to tolerate a degree of frustration is an important step in emotional development. .


A routine is important for children to feel safe and reassure them that the adults are in control. This can be very mundane, like a list of tasks involved in getting ready in the morning, or fun, like a weekly film night.

There need to be rules, binding upon the adults and children. These need to be simple, unambiguous, and (initially) few, perhaps 2 or 3. These rules should specifically target unwanted behaviours (eg don’t hit, rather than be good). Patterns of behaviour take a long time and much effort to change, using positive and negative encouragement and the power of habit, so sometimes it is more productive to target only one behaviour at a time to start off with.

Planning for situations does not require strategic genius. Parents know the situations where children have trouble, so before they enter a supermarket, for example, it is useful to stop, and calmly tell the child what is expected, what is not allowed, and what the consequences of positive and negative behaviour will be.


None of the above will have any effect unless parents are consistent, in several ways:

* consistency over time.

* consistency across all parents and carers

* consistency across settings and contexts.

Rules cannot be dependeant on parents’ moods or energy levels. Occasional rule lapses act as ‘intermittent reinforcement’, shown to be the single most powerful way to ensure that the behaviour that is being targeted continues with a vengeance.


This is perhaps the most important element, yet often overlooked by parenting manuals selling a quick fix. Behavioural management works, but takes time, and there is often an ‘extinction burst’ of increased unwelcome behaviour before things start to improve, as the child reacts against the new boundaries. Parents need to be prepared for this.

As well as patience across weeks, parents need patience across hours, to be able to abandon a shopping trip, wait out a tantrum, or stay calm in the face of sibling conflict when shouting would, in the short term, be quicker.