Let them play…

Allowing young children to play with their friends must be prioritised as soon as possible when lockdown is eased.

This was the argument made by this really interesting post published recently on the ACAMH Blog.

The article discusses the fact that while the Covid-19 pandemic has posed a lower risk of physical health problems for children, it has transformed the social lives of children more rapidly than anyone could have imagined.

A recent rapid systematic review concluded that loneliness and social isolation adversely affect children’s short- and long-term mental health (Loades, M. E. et al). 

You can read the full post on the blog by clicking here.

Guardian Article about Covid-19 and mental health

There was an interesting article about the Coronavirus and mental health in the UK published in the comment section of the The Guardian today. Have a read and tell us what you think…

Has the pandemic really caused a ‘tsunami’ of mental health problems?

Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology: University of Sheffield

“With a team of experts from the Universities of Sheffield, Ulster, Liverpool, UCL and Royal Holloway and Bedford College I have been monitoring the mental health of the UK population since the beginning of the crisis. Looking at our findings, we think that this tsunami narrative is misleading. If accepted uncritically, it could undermine efforts to protect the health of the population and also our ability as a nation to recover once the crisis is over. Here is why….

Click here to read the complete article

Children’s Mental Health Week, 1-7 February 2021

The PMHA is delighted to be supporting #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek, organised by the charity @Place2Be. Of course, for those of us in the PMHA, every week is Children’s Mental Health Week, but this yearly event is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of this issue more widely and start some important conversations at work and at home.

This past year has been an incredibly difficult one for many families, and we are starting to see more and more evidence about the effects that COVID-19, lockdown and school closures have had on children and young people in the UK and around the world. A poll at our annual meeting last week found that 97% of attendees had seen a change in children and young people presenting in acute crisis during COVID-19, with more than 7 in 10 seeing both increased numbers and increased complexity of presentation. And for every child presenting to hospital, there are likely countless more struggling at home.

“Express Yourself”

The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is “Express Yourself”. Many of us can find it hard to talk about mental health, particularly with children and young people. Place2Be have compiled an excellent set of resources – available at https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/schools-and-youth-groups/ – to help start these conversations and empower children to express themselves in different ways.

Many young people may wish to seek support outside their immediate friends and family. @YoungMindsUK has compiled an excellent list of support services available by phone, text, email and web chat, available here: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/get-urgent-help/ 

Of course, it’s not only children who need help and support during these challenging times. @LittleGoodDeed is a campaign aimed at helping parents and carers who may be struggling during lockdown. If you can, try to take the opportunity this week to reach out to a friend, colleague or family member who may be struggling. If you’re struggling yourself, see https://www.littlegooddeed.org.uk/getsupportnow for a list of useful resources you can access online or by phone.

We at the PMHA will continue to share useful resources throughout this week and beyond, so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook and, if you haven’t, sign up to become a PMHA member. We look forward to hearing more about how you’ve marked Children’s Mental Health Week and – crucially – how you keep that important work going in the weeks and months to come.

Paediatricians warn parents to be alert to signs of eating disorders

Paediatricians have seen a huge rise in cases of anorexia nervosa and other food restriction disorders in this age group, with some reporting a doubling, tripling or even quadrupling of cases compared with the same period last year.

For more information, please go to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) website by clicking here.

Help and support

BEAT eating disorders charity has a lot of useful information on their website and their helpline is open over the festive period.

Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry Special Interest Group Annual Meeting

In case you missed our post, here’s a reminder about an event taking place next week. Registration closes at 9am on Sunday 6th December.

Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility: Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry SIG Conference

7th December 2020
Watch live or on demand

The UK has one of the lowest minimum ages of criminal responsibility (MACR) in the world, with the age being set at 10 years old in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 12 in Scotland (having increased from 8 in 2019).  These low ages are inconsistent with current neuroscientific knowledge regarding brain maturation and has led to the UK being singled out for criticism by the United Nations, which issued a General Comment in 2019 stating that the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be at least 14 years old. 

The topic received further media coverage last week (see links below), following the release of the Justice Committee report on Young People and Youth Justice which called on the Government to review the current minimum age or provide justification for not doing this by February 2021. 

The purpose of this conference is to explore the issues behind criminal responsibility including current evidence regarding brain maturation, international approaches to setting minimum ages and alternative non-criminal disposal options for those who commit risky offences below the minimum age of criminal responsibility. It is hoped that participants will come from a wide range of backgrounds so that a full range of views can be heard during the discussions

 The study day will help inform the planned Royal College Position Statement of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility.

Click here for further information and to register

More about SPIN Modules in Child Mental Health

The RCPCH has a range of Special Interest (SPIN) modules. The deadline for applications is December 1st 2020

  • SPIN in training for level 3 trainees 
    This is additional training and experience in a clinical area, which you complete in 12 to 18 months of clinical time. If you do a SPIN module and complete your training, you can apply for posts as a General Paediatrician with a special expertise.
    
  • Post completion SPIN for paediatricians on the GMC specialist register 
    This is additional training or experience, which you complete usually over a 12 month to five year period.

Click here to read about the SPIN Module Curriculum in Child Mental Health.

For more information about applying for the Spin modules, please click on this link: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/special-interest-spin-module-application-guidance

Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, has agreed to record a talk for the ONLINE 2-day PMHA Annual Meeting

Join us on Friday 29th January 2021 to hear what he has to say

You can book for the PMHA annual meeting here https://pmha-uk.org/the-pmha-annual-winter-meeting/

About the CYPMHC:

CYPMHC Logo

“The vision of CYPMHC is for all infants, children and young people to grow up in a society that prioritises, invests in, listens and attends to their mental health and wellbeing. We are working towards building a nation where positive mental health is promoted and early intervention practices are in place to secure mentally healthier futures for our children and young people.

We see mental health as everyone’s business. When one of us is in distress, there are implications for everyone: lost potential, unemployment and crime are just some of the consequences.

We want the Government to hear what we have to say and to put our ideas into practice. We would like ministers, commissioners and everyone who makes decisions relating to children and young people to note that promoting positive mental health, preventing mental ill health, and intervening early when problems arise requires cross-government action.

We do not represent any one organisation, approach, or professional group but rather we engage with our members and come together to provide a strong unified voice speaking out about children and young people’s mental health.”

Please click on the link below for more information

https://cypmhc.org.uk

Get ready to SPIN: Level 3 Paediatric Trainees

The RCPCH offers various special interest (SPIN) modules for training.

A SPIN Module in Child Mental Health is now available

INTRODUCTION TO SPIN:

There are two types of SPIN offered:

  • SPIN in training for level 3 trainees 
    This is additional training and experience in a clinical area, which you complete in 12 to 18 months of clinical time. If you do a SPIN module and complete your training, you can apply for posts as a General Paediatrician with a special expertise.
  • Post completion SPIN for paediatricians on the GMC specialist register 
    This is additional training or experience, which you complete usually over a 12 month to five year period.

All SPIN modules are designed to enable a paediatrician to lead in that area as part of meeting a service need. It is vitally important that you articulate the service need for your choice of SPIN explaining why it is necessary on your application form.

Once completed, applicants can be the local lead and part of the clinical network providing for children who need specialist paediatric care.

For more information, please click on link below:
https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/special-interest-spin-module-application-guidance

APPLICATIONS:

Applications opened on the 2nd November and close on the 1st December 2020. To apply now, click here.

* You can apply once you start your level 3 training in paediatrics (normally from your ST6 placement).

* You cannot usually undertake SPIN training at the same time as sub-specialty training (also called GRID). There are some exceptions to this rule and we will update this page as we develop our SPIN work. If you have an enquiry about SPIN eligibility for you, contact us at training.services@rcpch.ac.uk.

Attend ACAMH’s 2020 Events Online

Did you know that you can now see a lots of ACAMH events from wherever you might be at the moment?

With the global spread of the coronavirus, many organisations across the world are changing working practices to ensure everyone’s safety. One such organisation is the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH), which will not be staging physical events for the rest of 2020, but instead is bringing events online as live webinars, many of which will be free.

There are also a number of recorded webinars already available for view, including:

More will be added to the ACAMH website’s Freeview section, which contains a whole host of other past lectures.

Anna Freud Learning Network

The Anna Freud Learning Network is a free national network for professionals, both individuals and organisations, which shares the latest research, resources, and learning opportunities to those working to transform the mental health of children and young people.

To find out more and to join the network, please click on the link below

https://www.annafreud.org/mental-health-professionals/anna-freud-learning-network