Consultation to transform children and young people’s mental health support

Have your say on government plans to transform children and young people’s mental health support

The children and young people’s mental health green paper was  launched in December 2017, and the Department for Health and Social Care is now seeking the views of mental health professionals.

Proposals include:

  • the development of a new community-based workforce to improve availability of support in non-clinical settings
  • incentives for every school and college to have a designated lead for mental health
  • the introduction of a new four week waiting time for children’s mental health services in pilot areas

Full details available from NHS Improvement

The consultation is open until 2 March and can be accesssed here


Latest figures for finished admission episodes with a primary or secondary diagnosis of ‘eating disorder’ published

NHS Digital has released the latest figures for finished admission episodes (FAEs) with  a primary or secondary diagnosis of ‘eating disorder’ by:

  1. a) area team of treatment and by age and gender and type of ‘eating disorder’,
  2. b) by clinical commissioning group of treatment from 2010/11 to 2016/17.


The supplementary information data  can be accessed from NHS Digital 

The following news stories may also be of interest:

Daily Telegraph Eating disorder hospital admissions double in six years, figures show

The Guardian Long NHS delays can be ‘devastating’ for patients with eating disorders

Sibling bullying in middle childhood and psychotic disorder at 18 years of age

Researchers from the University of Warwick studied the incidence of psychotic disorders in individuals who were bullies or bullied by siblings during childhood. The study, the first prospective study of sibling bullying and the development of the psychotic disorder, has found that those involved in sibling bullying- either as victim or bully- were three times more likely to meet criteria for a psychotic disorder.


Being bullied by a sibling has been recently identified as a potential risk factor for developing depression and self-harm. It is unknown whether this risk extends to other serious mental health problems such as psychosis. We investigated whether sibling bullying victimization or perpetration in middle childhood was prospectively associated with psychotic disorder in early adulthood.

The current study investigated 6988 participants of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a UK community-based birth cohort. Sibling bullying was reported at 12 years and psychotic disorder was assessed via a semi-structured interview at 18 years.

Involvement in sibling bullying was associated with psychotic disorder in a dose-response fashion, even after controlling for a range of confounders. Those involved several times a week were 2–3 times more likely to meet criteria for a psychotic disorder [odds ratio (OR); 95% confidence interval (CI)]: victimization (OR 2.74; CI 1.28–5.87); perpetration (OR 3.16; CI 1.35–7.41). Categorical analysis indicated that particularly victims (OR 3.10; CI 1.48–6.50) and bully-victims (OR 2.66; CI 1.24–5.69) were at increased risk of psychotic disorder. Involvement in both sibling and peer bullying had a dose-effect relationship with a psychotic disorder, with those victimized in both contexts having more than four times the odds for a psychotic disorder (OR 4.57; CI 1.73–12.07).

Parents and health professionals should be aware of the adverse long-term effects of sibling bullying.

The study’s findings, suggest that displaying aggressive behaviors in childhood may be treated as a developmental marker of psychotic disorders in an already vulnerable individual with a tendency towards persistent aggressive behavioral patterns.
This study adds that sibling bullying perpetration, beyond general conduct problems in childhood, is associated with the development of psychotic experiences.

Full reference:

Dantchev, S., Zammit, S. & Wolke, D. |Sibling bullying in middle childhood and psychotic disorder at 18 years: a prospective cohort study| Psychological Medicine | Published online 12 February 2018 | Doi:

The full text journal article can be downloaded here 

Full story at Science Daily 

Project to improve access to information for children and young people, their families and carers in Nottinghamshire relating to Autistic Spectrum Disorder

NICE’s shared learning database has been updated with the details of a new project developed to deliver information to support the care, development and day to day life of children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as recommended in NICE CG170: Information and involvement in decision-making (CG170 recommendation 1.1.11).  


A multi-disciplinary team (MDT) which consisted of consultant community paediatricians, specialist nurses and a member of the Trust Library & Knowledge Team, met regularly to share information and suggestions on all aspects of the project.
The project intentionally used differing information formats and media so that children, their families and carers could access the information in the easiest and most useful way possible. (Guide to Producing Health Information for Children and Young People, PIF 2014).

The three main outcomes were:

  • the development of an online portal;
  • a post diagnosis support pack;
  •  a collection of books for parents to borrow from the library

Patients, families and carers value the information provided by the Library as they trust that the information is current and from a reliable source.

Full details of the project are available from NICE 

Challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children

This guide provides an overview of the challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people | Local Government Association

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At least one in 10 children and young people are affected by mental health problems, and the unreported figures are likely to be even higher. Young people are increasingly struggling with problems like anxiety, depression and self-harm, with nearly 19,000 young people admitted to hospital after harming themselves in 2015 – a 14 per cent rise over three years. This guide provides an overview of the challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people.


Full report: Don’t be left in the dark: children and young people’s mental health

The benefits of social media for young people in care

Until recently, it has been assumed that platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp only pose a risk for young people in care. However, research now suggests that this vulnerable group can benefit from the psychological, emotional and social support gained via online networks. | University of East Anglia | story via ScienceDaily


Researchers from the University of East Anglia have been looking at how young people living in state care can benefit from social media use. More than 100 visits to four residential care settings in England were made over a seven month period. During this time, in-depth observations on how 10 young people routinely used social media in their everyday lives were made. Focus groups and interviews with the young people and their social care professionals were also conducted.

The study found:

  • Having positive online networks helped young people in care gain ‘social capital’
  • Platforms like Facebook can contribute to increased self-esteem and mental well-being, which is particularly helpful for young people in care who frequently report feeling worthless, depressed and isolated
  • Social media gave young people the chance to network with organisations that could help them with opportunities for personal progression

Author, Dr S. Hammond said “This valuable piece of work makes clear the benefits of social media for looked after children and we welcome this contribution to the understanding of the impact of online. However, social networking carries risks as well as benefits and there is a responsibility on social media sites to make their platforms safe for their young users, including looked after children who can often be particularly vulnerable, so that they are free to enjoy the online world.”

Full reference:  Hammond, S. P. et al. |  Social Media, Social Capital and Adolescents Living in State Care: A Multi-Perspective and Multi-Method Qualitative Study. | The British Journal of Social Work | published online 02 February 2018

Full story at ScienceDaily

Does limited education limit young people ?

A US Department of Education Study has found that young people who do not complete post-secondary education face challenges including unemployment and financial stress. 


The representative sample of students who were ninth-graders in Autumn 2009 through high school and into higher education and/or the workforce. The data produced during this longitudinal study provides an insight on outcomes experienced by these young adults, including their high school completion, post-secondary enrollment and early attainment, workforce experiences and family financial support.

Six-and-a-half years later, those in the sample who had not entered any type of post-secondary education found life difficult in the current economy.

Full story at Science Daily