Child protection: a universal concern

Child protection: a universal concern and a permanent challenge in the field of child and adolescent mental health. Joerg M. Fegert and Manuela Stötzel

This  editorial in the journal, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health argues that ongoing efforts are needed, supported by adequate funding, to conduct fundamental research into the prevention and the consequences of traumatization in childhood. These
efforts need to include the implementation of monitoring systems and epidemiology studies, so that data can be monitored and assessed in a comparable way across different
countries. Prevention and intervention strategies need to be developed, and approaches that are found to be successful need to be implemented on a larger scale.

Read the full document here

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Transforming mental health services for children who have experienced abuse

Transforming mental health services for children who have experienced abuse: a review of Local Transformation Plans
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This report analyses CCG local transformation plans and assesses the extent to which the plans recognise the role of abuse and neglect as a primary risk factor for mental health needs. The report examines the local level of need and current service offer for children who have experienced abuse and neglect; and whether local areas are planning additional services targeted at this group. The report found that only 14% of plans considered the needs for support of all children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect.

Childhood maltreatment and bipolar disorder

Currell, E. The Mental Elf. Published online: 2 June 2016

This systematic review and meta-analysis set out to examine whether a history of childhood maltreatment in individuals with bipolar disorder was associated with an increased risk for negative clinical outcomes. Heterogeneity of findings across the literature was also explored.

Summary/ Clinical implications: 

  • A history of childhood maltreatment could be an early indicator of disorder progression, helping identify individuals who might be at risk of a more undesirable disorder course.
  • Potential to stratify patients according to their risk for certain undesirable outcomes means treatment could be more targeted and specific.
  • Results lead the authors to suggest that the use of established treatment processes, such as those used in major depression, may be appropriate, including pharmacological interventions that target biological vulnerabilities. Additionally, comorbidities with PTSD and anxiety disorders lead to implications of trauma and anxiety-based treatments to improve illness course.
  • Clinicians may consider checking for childhood trauma in patients with bipolar disorder or in those with a more severe or unremitting course.

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research abstract here