PMHA Webinar 2 – Optimising Mental Health in Asthma

After a very successful start to our evening webinar series last week, booking is now open for the PMHA’s next webinar, “Optimising Mental Health in Asthma – The Role of the MDT”.

The first of our webinars focusing on mental health issues within a specific Paediatric subspecialty, the webinar will be delivered by two members of Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s fantastic Paediatric Respiratory team – Dr. Louise Selby, Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician, and Dr. Amy Shayle, Clinical Psychologist – and is sure to be relevant to anyone looking after children and young people with asthma.

It will take place on Monday 21st June at 7:30pm.

Booking is available here.  

We look forward to seeing you next Monday!


To sign up for regular updates about our webinar series, please click here.  

PMHA Virtual Study Afternoon

Following the success last summer, this year the PMHA will again hold a Virtual Study Afternoon on Thursday 15th July (on ZOOM)

The afternoon will focus on providing practical tips to manage commonly seen mental health conditions in the acute setting, as well as increasing understanding of some of the underlying causes for mental health difficulties.

While geared primarily towards paediatric trainees, all healthcare staff who care for children in the acute or community setting are welcome.

The included talks are: 

  • Eating Disorders
  • The Long-term Effects of developmental trauma
  • Acute Behavioural Disturbance
  • Mental Health Law

To register for the event, click here.

PMHA webinars on children’s and young people’s mental health

We are delighted to announce that, starting in June 2021, the PMHA is running a series of free webinars on children’s and young people’s mental health.

The webinars will run fortnightly on Monday evenings and will cover a range of topics relevant to the RCPCH training curriculum. Paediatric doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, as well as professionals from other medical specialties, are all welcome to attend.

We are excited to be collaborating with several different groups on this project. Half of our sessions will be aimed at general Paediatricians and we will be working with the very popular Thinking Together group to deliver some of these. The other half of our sessions will be run in conjunction with other subspecialty groups within the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), covering particular mental health issues affecting their patient populations.


First Webinar – Monday 7th June, 7:30pm

Our first webinar, run in collaboration with the Thinking Together group, will take place at 7:30pm on Monday 7th June. The focus will be Medically Unexplained Symptoms, and it will be delivered by the wonderful Dr. Virginia Davies, Consultant Paediatric Liaison Psychiatrist at The Whittington Hospital. It’s sure to be an engaging and interesting session and we look forward to welcoming lots of you there.


To register your interest in attending these webinars, please sign up to our mailing list at the following link using your professional email address (nhs.net or nhs.uk):

Click here to sign up to the mailing list

We will send regular emails with details of upcoming sessions and booking links. We will also make this information about the sessions available here on the PMHA website.

We’re looking forward to getting started with this new project
and can’t wait for you all to join us.

Questionnaire – The future of the PMHA Annual Academic Meeting

For many years now this meeting has been held at the end of January, in the lovely setting of Highgate House Hotel, in Creaton near Northampton. Unfortunately, this hotel has gone into administration and is being sold.

This year’s meeting was held online, because of the ongoing Coronavirus situation. Despite being very different, it was a really successful and interesting meeting.

We are now planning for next year’s meeting and are keen to get opinions on the best way forward for the PMHA Annual Academic Meeting

We would be very grateful if you could spare the time to let us have your views on next year’s and future ‘Highgate’.

Please click here to access a short questionnaire!

Save the Date – PMHA Summer Afternoon Talks

Following the successful Online Afternoon Talks held last year, we are pleased to announce they will take place again in the summer of 2021 on the following date:

15 July 2021, starting at 1pm, ONLINE

This meeting is aimed primarily at Paediatric Trainees and SAS Doctors with an interest in Child Mental Health. It may also be of interest to trainees in CAMHS, A&E and General Practice.

Full details of the meeting and how to apply will be announced shortly.

Watch this space!

Sad news from Highgate House Hotel

Sundial Group, which operates the hotel, recently announced that is has been put into administration.

As many of you know, the lovely Highgate House Hotel near Northampton has hosted the Annual Meeting of the PMHA (formerly the BPMHG) for decades. We recently received this sad news from their events department. The Executive Committee is considering the options for next year’s meeting.

Below is a full message from Sundial Group:

“I was hoping to deliver this message over the phone, but have unfortunately be unable to reach you. I felt that you deserved to hear this from us rather than through social media or hearsay due to your loyalty to us so I hope you don’t mind me emailing. I’m afraid I have some very sad news about Sundial Group. Unfortunately the Group, including the businesses of Highgate House and Woodside, were put into administration on Monday this week. After nearly 12 months of ongoing costs without income it has not been possible to extend our borrowings further in a way that would maintain the viability of the businesses. This is a cash flow insolvency as the businesses have very significant assets which will now be sold with the expectation that all liabilities will be settled in full.  I’m afraid that this means we will not be reopening either venue. Obviously it is a very sad end to our hospitality business which, like so many others, has been unable to survive the global pandemic. Thank you so much for your wonderful support over the years. I know that many of our customers and guests have identified as part of the Sundial family and it’s such a shame that we have been left with no alternative. I am ever so sorry to have to deliver this news and I wish you all the best.”

Here is a photograph of Highgate House looking lovely as always in the spring sun.

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.

The RCPCH conference 2021

This year’s RCPCH conference will take place ONLINE between the 15th and 17th of June.

The theme is:
Challenges, opportunities and solutions for Child Heath in the COVID-19 era’.

Click here for more information.


The PMHA at the conference

The PMHA session is on Wednesday 16th June (15:30-18:00) and will be run jointly with Child Protection Special Interest Group. The theme is ‘The impact of COVID on child mental health and on safeguarding’

Abstract submissions are open – please submit abstracts by the 10th March using the link below:

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/news-events/rcpch-conference-2021-abstract-submission

We look forward to hosting,
and seeing as many of you as possible there! 

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.