We are a multidisciplinary group of professionals including Paediatricians, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists, Nurses, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, who are concerned in promoting mental wellbeing alongside physical health of babies, children and young people into adulthood.
We seek “parity of esteem“ – which is the principle by which mental health must be given equal priority to physical health.
Our mission is to champion the integration and working together of services, by influencing clinical practice in Paediatrics, Policy Development, Education and Training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Our key functions are:
- Raise the profile of Child Mental Health to parity with physical health
- Identify topics for advocacy, working with partners such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of General Practitioners and British Psychological Society to develop clear guidance.
Paediatricians frequently work with children and young people with a wide range of mental health difficulties. This includes children with complex presentations, somatisation disorders, behavioural challenges, neuro-developmental disorders, eating disorders and learning difficulties. We often work within a multidisciplinary team, liaising with other mental health specialists, paediatric subspecialists and local multi-agency teams, including Social Care and Education, in order to enhance holistic care.
The PMHA aims to:
- Develop a resource base of expert opinion and information relating to Child Mental Health
- To work towards enhanced integration of services within Health and with other agencies such as Social Care and Education to develop seamless pathways for Children and Young People.
- Promote the sharing of knowledge of all aspects of child and adolescent mental health and well-being with as wide a range of different professional groups as possible
Education/Training / CPD:
- Provide specialist regional advice in complex cases
- Train other health professionals in child mental health
- Promote and provide Education, Training and Continuing Professional Development to improve competence of systems relevant to Children and Young people with Mental Health difficulties.
- Develop training curricula (Grid and SPIN) for Paediatricians https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/child-mental-health-sub-specialty
- Take a lead to assist the development and implementation of evidence based programmes to encourage integration of physical and emotional wellbeing in all relevant government policy.
The PMHA executive committee
(As of February 2020)
(The Executive Committee meets 3-4 times a year)
Chair / Convenor
Sheila Peters (Consultant Paediatrician)
Deputy Convenor / Chair of Mental Health CSAC
Emma Blake (Consultant Paediatrician / Child Mental Health)
Bo Fischer (Consultant Paediatrician / Child Mental Health)
Nicola Herberholz (Consultant in Paediatrics / Child Mental Health)
Dr Sally Benson (Consultant Clinical Psychologist)
Rory Conn (Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Exeter)
Birgit Westphal (Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Joint Chair RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network)
Katya Certic and Kim Pierson (Paediatric Registrars)
Royal College of Nursing Link
RCPCH Mental Health Policy Officer
Dr Karen Street, Assistant Officer for Mental Health on the RCPCH Health Improvement Committee