NHS England and the Department of Education have joined forces to launch a multimillion pound joint mental health pilot scheme for schools. The Mental Health Services and Schools Link Pilots will test a named single point of contact in 255 schools and in 22 pilot areas, meaning more joined up working between schools and health services.
The single point of contact in the schools will be responsible for developing closer relationships with a counterpart in local NHS children and adult mental health services to improve knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, and to help ensure any referrals are timely and appropriate.
The pilot is part of the vision set out in the Future in Mind report, which made a number of proposals on how mental health services for children and young people could be improved.
Zhou, X. et al. World Psychiatry. 2015 Jun; 14(2): 207–222.
Previous meta-analyses of psychotherapies for child and adolescent depression were limited because of the small number of trials with direct comparisons between two treatments. A network meta-analysis, a novel approach that integrates direct and indirect evidence from randomized controlled studies, was undertaken to investigate the comparative efficacy and acceptability of psychotherapies for depression in children and adolescents.
Systematic searches resulted in 52 studies (total N=3805) of nine psychotherapies and four control conditions. We assessed the efficacy at post-treatment and at follow-up, as well as the acceptability (all-cause discontinuation) of psychotherapies and control conditions.
At post-treatment, only interpersonal therapy (IPT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) were significantly more effective than most control conditions (standardized mean differences, SMDs ranged from −0.47 to −0.96). Also, IPT and CBT were more beneficial than play therapy. Only psychodynamic therapy and play therapy were not significantly superior to waitlist.
At follow-up, IPT and CBT were significantly more effective than most control conditions (SMDs ranged from −0.26 to −1.05), although only IPT retained this superiority at both short-term and long-term follow-up. In addition, IPT and CBT were more beneficial than problem-solving therapy. Waitlist was significantly inferior to other control conditions.
With regard to acceptability, IPT and problem-solving therapy had significantly fewer all-cause discontinuations than cognitive therapy and CBT (ORs ranged from 0.06 to 0.33).
These data suggest that IPT and CBT should be considered as the best available psychotherapies for depression in children and adolescents. However, several alternative psychotherapies are understudied in this age group. Waitlist may inflate the effect of psychotherapies, so that psychological placebo or treatment-as-usual may be preferable as a control condition in psychotherapy trials.
More than half of parents in England have never spoken to their children about stress, anxiety or depression, a survey has suggested.
A poll of more than 1,100 parents found that 55% had not spoken about the subject to their offspring. Of those, 20% said they did not know how to address the issue.
The survey results have been released as part of a campaign, funded by the Department of Health, to break down the stigma associated with mental health. The poll, of parents to children aged between six and 18, was carried out by market research company Opinion Matters on behalf of the Time to Change campaign, which is being run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
It also found that 45% of parents felt they did not need to have the conversation because mental health “was not an issue”.
A partnership with the Anti Bullying Alliance, ‘Daisy Chain’ is an interactive story that aims at opening up the conversation on bullying.
Daisy Chain is the follow up to the acclaimed anti-bullying children’s book ‘Dandelion’. The short film allows parents and children to better understand bullying and cyberbullying , by teaching them the power of kindness and the impact of positive and negative sharing.
The project is released in time for the British Anti-Bullying Week (which occurs from 16 to 20 November), with a percentage of Daisy Chain merchandise sales going to the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
The short film was created after Galvin’s son faced a bullying experience, which made him an advocate for people who are victims of bullying.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Article first published online 9th NOV 2015
Excluded young people, especially those affected by street gangs, often have complex unmet needs and high levels of health and social inequalities. This paper outlines the development of Music & Change, an innovative and comprehensive intervention accessible to young people, which aimed to holistically meet the mental health and other needs of its participants and ultimately to reduce offending rates. Its central principle was coproduction and partnership with its potential users.
The setting was an inner-city housing estate; the core group of participants was 15 young people aged 16–22 years. The intervention used contemporary music skills (e.g. DJ-ing and lyric writing) and other coproduced project activities as a vehicle to build relationships with practitioners and address young people’s multiple needs. Data were gathered using a focused ethnography, largely from field notes, and analysed using thematic analysis in order to ascertain users’ perceptions of its delivery.
Young people identified six key principles of the intervention, such as the need for consistent relationships with trusted staff, mental health support to be wrapped round other youth-led activities and local service delivery within their safe territories.
Music & Change was valued by young people who do not easily engage with professionals and services. The findings led to the development of the ‘Integrate’ model, which is using these coproduced principles to underpin several new pilot projects that aim to address the health and social inequalities of excluded young people.
Mental health of 11-year-old children living in the UK
The report finds that about one in ten (10.3 per cent) 11-year-olds in the UK has a mental health problem according to parents – or eight percent as reported by teachers, with symptoms including hyperactivity, conduct problems and peer problems as well as emotional problems.
The report shows that children from the lowest income families are four times more likely to have mental health problems than those from the highest earning backgrounds. It also suggests that not living with both natural parents is associated with mental health problems in children. Geography too has an impact – 11-year-olds in Scotland have a significantly lower prevalence of hyperactivity and peer problems than those in the rest of the UK.
This quality standard covers the recognition, early intervention and management of bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia (including related psychotic disorders such as schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder and delusional disorder) in children and young people under 18.