BEST PRACTICE Article

BMJ September 2020

Jessica R Turnbull, Michael Farquhar

Fifteen-minute consultation on problems in the healthy child: sleep

ABSTRACT

Sleep-related issues are common reasons children present to health professionals. Many factors can adversely affect sleep quality, and there are many associations of inadequate sleep, including behavioural problems, obesity and accidental injury. We review the current evidence, and suggest practical management strategies to promote better sleep, and hopefully, better functioning for child and family alike.

Click here to read the article

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Useful Resources: Young People’s mental Health

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has a wide range of useful information about young people’s mental health written to support young people, as well as their parents and carers.

The information is written by psychiatrists and young people working together. It includes information on topics such as…

coping with stress
depression in children and young people
worries about weight and eating problems
drugs and alcohol
psychosis and schizophrenia for young people

Click on the links above to go to the specific section, or click on the link below to go an overview of all the information:

https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/parents-and-young-people

Featured

RCPCH statement on Child Mental Health

1st September 2020

Mental health issues are increasingly common among children and young people—suicide is now the leading cause of death for both males and females aged five to 19 years old, and one in eight people among this age group is currently living with a mental health condition. 

Children and young people in vulnerable groups are even more at risk, including LGBTQ+ people, low income households, children in care, and those with parental mental health issues, special educational needs, on child protection plans, or in the criminal justice system. 

Underinvestment in mental health is a longstanding concern. This has been amplified by the pandemic due to the extra stress caused by prolonged school closures, social isolation, adverse social and environmental circumstances, and a lack of access to usual support services. 

RCPCH’s Assistant Officer for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Dr Karen Street, says: “Our key message is that our patients’ mental health is our business. There is a joint responsibility to provide necessary services across the children’s workforce. 

“In the wake of COVID-19, many children and young people will have greater mental health support needs. As services begin to recover, the time is ripe to connect across the entire child health workforce and local, regional, and national boundaries. Together, we can work to develop improved and integrated mental health services.” 

In its statement, the College includes a number of recommendations, including: 

  • All paediatric teams should have a nominated lead for mental health. 
  • Paediatric training must include promotion of wellbeing in children and young people and management of common mental health issues. 
  • Paediatricians with higher exposure to issues need more extensive training and support. 
  • Paediatricians should not be expected to work in isolation when managing severe cases of mental illness. 
  • Use of mental health screening tools in higher risk people should be considered. 

The College will also continue to support mental health through its activities, including: 

  • Having an Assistant Officer for Mental Health on its Health Improvement Committee. 
  • Working with NHSE and HEE to implement of the NHSE Long Term Plan. 
  • Developing training through its Child Mental Health Specialty Advisory Committee. 
  • Developing the Progress curriculum for all paediatric trainees to include mental health. 
  • Partnering with MindEd to produce a paediatric ‘learning path’. 

Read the College’s full position statement on the role of paediatricians in mental health here

The RCPCH’s Spring Meeting 2020 has become an Online Conference

The RCPCH’s Spring meeting, scheduled for April 2020, was regretfully cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now the the meeting will go ahead online, with different sessions running between the 25 September and 13 November 2020.


PMHA Joint Workshop: ‘Difference and Self’

The PMHA had planned a joint workshop with the British Association for Paediatricians in Audiology, themed ‘Difference and self’.

This workshop will now be delivered in webinar form. Chaired by Dr Winfred Baddo and Dr Sheila Peters, this free, live online event will feature guest lectures and abstract presentations, with opportunities for delegates to ask questions. 

Date: Tuesday 13th October
Time: 2 – 5 pm

To register, click on the link below:

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/news-events/events/conference-webinar-difference-self-mental-health-audiology

The posters which had been accepted for the workshop, are now available to view online. Visit this link:

 https://eposters.rcpch.ac.uk/ 

(You’ll need to register but RCPCH membership is not needed for this).
You’ll find the posters in the ‘mental health’ section.  Please view the posters, register for the webinar, and spread the word!

Dr Sheila Peters: Immediate Past Convenor of PMHA

Reimagining the future of paediatric care after COVID-19

Last month, the RCPCH published an interesting report Reimagining the future of paediatric care post-COVID-19 – a reflective report of rapid learning‘. The report is the first in a series of reports from the Paediatrics 2014 Project.

“This report, published on 26 June 2020, is the first in a series from the Paediatrics 2040 project that will inform RCPCH’s vision for the future of paediatrics in the UK. We summarise our learning from this period of rapid change, focusing in particular on the elements of new practice that we want to keep and take forwards into the future…

To read the report, click the link below:

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/reimagining-future-paediatric-care-post-covid-19-reflective-report-rapid-learning

Journal Article: Care for children and young people with eating disorders

This article was published in the journal ‘Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry’ (June 2020) and may be of interest:

Paediatric medical care for children and young people with eating disorders: Achievements and where to next

Lee D Hudson and Simon Chapman

No other diagnoses epitomise the need for dual consideration of mental and physical health more than eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa (AN) for example has the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder, and half of deaths are thought to be due to physical complications (Sullivan, 1995). For this reason it is crucial for acute paediatrics and eating disorder teams to work closely over the assessment and management of these disorders, particularly in the early stages when physical risks are often highest.

This is not as easy as it sounds: mental health and physical health teams are often geographical distant from each other, have different ways of working, and may even view and speak of risk in different ways. Despite this, as for many countries, in the United Kingdom (UK), the journey to provide better paediatric care for children and young people (CYP) with eating disorders has been a gradual one, albeit with a number of recent victories. As two paediatricians working with CYP with eating disorders and eating disorder teams in the UK, we summarise the important developments of the past 10 years in the UK, and look to future steps…

To read the full article, click on the link below:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1359104520931573

Ourtime: resources for professionals talking to children about parental mental illness

Our Time helps young people dealing with parental mental illness. We make sure they get the support they need and have their voices heard.

This website has a lot of resources for Parents, Young People, Schools and Professionals

To find out more, click on the link below:

https://ourtime.org.uk/suitability-resources/professionals/

PAEDIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH: A NURSE’S PERSPECTIVE

CCCU BSc Child Nursing alumna Kim Cunningham discusses the unique mental health care needs of children, and her experience as a hospital lead for the ‘We Can Talk’ initiative.

I studied paediatric nursing at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and during my time as a student nurse I came across lots of children and young people with mental illness admitted onto the paediatric ward. Quite often they were just there for a short time, whilst assessed and discharged back to the community. However, sometimes those with more complex mental health needs, their admission stays were for a few days and sometimes weeks, whilst awaiting an inpatient bed.

https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/health-and-wellbeing/nursing-midwifery-social-work/child-nursing/paediatric-mental-health-nurse-perspective.aspx