health & social care
local government
primary & secondary education
voluntary sector

4th Annual Children’s Mental Health Services Forum

health & social care

local government

primary & secondary education

voluntary sector

8:45 - 16:30

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only

This Forum provides the opportunity for participants to discuss how the government’s latest plans to elevate and transform child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) will function in practice. Attendees will hear from policy leaders and practitioners as they highlight areas where improvement is necessary and how to implement innovative new initiatives that enable coherent and accessible services that place young people’s needs at their core.


This Forum is specifically designed for all Public Sector employees and in particular for Health, Local Government and School professionals. Typical job titles will include:

  • Principals
  • Chief Executives
  • Heads of Children’s Commissioning
  • Improvement Leads
  • Mental Health Clinical Leads
  • Heads of Operations
  • Commissioning Managers
  • Directors of Children’s Services
  • CAMHS Practitioners
  • Mental Health Improvement Officers
  • Programme Managers
  • Youth Wellbeing Managers
  • Service Managers
  • Children’s Nurses
  • School Nurses

This Forum is also open to the Voluntary Sector to encourage debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Meg Hillier MP, Chair, Public Accounts Committee
  • Natasha Devon MBE, Body Image and Mental Health Campaigner
  • Caroline Bennet, Assistant Director, Social Care, Council for Disabled Children
  • Gill Morris, Senior Health and Wellbeing and Cross Phase Adviser, Camden Council
  • Andrea Shand, Head of Service, Oxfordshire CAMHS
  • Hope VirgoMental Health Campaigner and AmbassadorShaw Health Foundation
  • Denise Burke, Found, United for All Ages
  • Andrew Moffat, Assistant Head, Parkfield Community School


View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Ceri Brown, Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, University of Bath (invited)


Morning Keynote: Understanding and Tackling Pressures on CAHMS

  • The pressure on CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) is enormous, with waiting times often outlasting the legal requirements outlined in policy. What can and is being done to alleviate this pressure and better serve young people in the UK?
  • Exploring the emerging trend of over-diagnoses and self-diagnosis as information of mental health is more readily available and accessible
  • Examining how collaboration can support overstretched health staff, for example through schools recruiting more in-school nurses, implement mindfulness and cover training in early intervention to act as a front-line enabler for better mental health in young-people
  • Discussing the need for mental health to be embedded into curriculum

Meg Hillier MP, Chair, Public Accounts Committee (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Examining the Impact of Social Media, Critical Thinking and Body Image on Young People’s Mental Health

  • Exploring how culture shapes who were are, by learning how the subconscious constantly drinks in information from our environment.
  • Looking at why big industry has a vested interest in making us feel insecure and how the advertising and social media we are exposed to contribute to our unconscious belief systems, thereby impacting our behaviours and our self esteem
  • Exploring strategies for surviving the digital world by consuming social media critically and creating an online environment which is enjoyable healthy and empowering
  • Looking at how this is translated to children from years 7-11 where the need has been identified

Natasha Devon MBE, Body Image and Mental Health Campaigner (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Supporting Young People with Mental Health Conditions and Disability

  • Often disabled children need lots of support from professionals and services to be as healthy and happy as possible, but sometimes the way these services are organised and delivered can get in the way
  • Outlining how the Council for Disabled Children supports the health sector to understand how to provide high quality support for disable children and young people 
  • Looking at how the CDC work on issues that affect children across the full range of health needs, from promoting public health needs through to working with clinical colleagues providing highly specialised services to children with the most complex health needs
  • Hear how this methodology is segregated into three distinct focal points for action: Health & Wellbeing Policy, Health & Wellbeing Practice, Health and Wellbeing Resources

Caroline Bennet, Assistant Director, Social Care, Council for Disabled Children (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing Comprehensive Support to Schools on Mental Health

  • Looking at how Camden Council have created a broad offer to schools to support their work on promoting resilience and positive mental health and the difference it is making
  • Exploring the use of a whole school review tool
  • Discussing the development of training that builds on MHFA training and provides a model for  teachers to build resilience and positive mental health in the classroom
  • Discussing the development of training and support for school Mental Health Leads

Gill Morris, Senior Health and Wellbeing and Cross Phase Adviser, Camden Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Transforming Child Mental Health Referrals

  • A look at how Oxfordshire CAMHS, specifically in Banburyshire, where referrals were lowered from approximately 630 per month to 250 per month
  • Delivering high-quality training to both GPs and education professionals has been provided to make diagnosis more accurate and lower referrals, lessening the pressure on CAHMS
  • Creating a ‘single point access’ team allowing young people, families and carers to refer and receive support from professional and administrative staff, alleviating the honus from traditional sources, i.e. GPs, teachers and social workers
  • Protocol implemented around this service and how it filters the needs and urgency of a referral, offering more effective treatment for young people
  • Discussing how GPs have a direct link to this service, meaning they are reviewed by a health practitioner, all information is triaged within 12 hours and a referral within 3 days

Andrea Shand, Head of Service, Oxfordshire CAMHS (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: NHS 10-Year Plan for Improving Children’s Mental Health

  • By 2020/21, there will be a significant expansion in access to high-quality mental health care for children and young people. At least 70,000 additional children and young people each year will receive evidence-based treatment
  • Supporting this objective, the NHS has advised that all local areas should have expanded, refreshed and republished their Local Transformation Plans for children and young people’s mental health
  • Delivering this expansion within community-based services, CCGs should commission improved access to 24/7 crisis resolution and liaison mental health services which are appropriate for children and young people
  • Exploring how a combination of the different activities to deliver transformation, such as increasing the number of children receiving evidence-based treatment in the community and the development of new models of care is expected to lead to reduced use of in-patient beds for children and young people across all settings, with savings to reinvest in local mental health services.

Dr Steve Jones, National Service Advisor, Children and Young People’s Mental Health, NHS England (invited)


Special Keynote: Identifying the Signs of Mental Health Issues in Young People

  • Delivering practical insight in to how to spot the signs of someone with a mental illness and how to have this conversation
  • Offering practical tips to help parents increase their understanding of mental health and so they feel able to support their young people with their mental health, and prevent them hitting crisis
  • Awareness of mental health so that people across schools feel educated and able to open up
  • Helping children learn to express themselves and talk about how they feel in a healthy way

Hope Virgo, Mental Health Campaigner and Ambassador, Shaw Health Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Improving Mental Health with Dedicated Equality Lessons

  • Looking at how Parkfield Community School have implemented dedicated ‘Equality Lessons’, overtly teaching methods and means of improving mental health for young people
  • Discussing specific resources that can be used during Equality Lessons, including a number of key books and texts
  • Examining the need for multi-disciplinary teams that are able to reach children at early enough and in settings other than just school to ensure they are aware of strategies to protect their mental health online
  • Understanding the need for strong leadership and whole-school buy-in to ensure that equality is taught fairly and promoted throughout all areas of school life

Andrew Moffat, Assistant Head, Parkfield Community School (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Improving Children’s Mental Health Through Intergenerational Learning and Support

  • A look at United for All Ages’ new report recommends all nurseries and schools link with care homes to improve children’s educational attainment, mental health and wellbeing.
  • Wider social implications of younger and older generations partnering together
  • Examining the results show that children involved in intergenerational projects have better reading and communication skills
  • Real-life examples from projects including the UK’s first intergenerational nursery, Apples and Honey Nightingale in Wandsworth and Little Wrens, which is co-located with a Wren Hall Nursing Home

Denise Burke, Found, United for All Ages (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks

*Programme Subject to Change

Representing just 0.7% of the total NHS budget and with only 25% of children and young people with mental health problems receiving the care they need according to Public Health England, child mental health services (CAMHS) have been referred to as the ‘NHS’ biggest failing’ by, Jeremy Hunt. In July 2016, the Prime Minister described young people’s mental welfare as one of the ‘burning injustices’ that she wishes to tackle. As such, NHS England has pledged to invest an additional £1bn towards frontline services and treat 1 million more people by 2021.

The Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care too have published the 2017 Green Paper Transforming Children and Young People’s Health Provision dedicated to improving CAMHSThus far, recommendations include the introduction of community based mental health support teams, equipping all schools with a trained mental health coordinator and piloting a waiting time limit of 4 weeks for children and young people wishing to receive CAMHS which will complete roll-out by 2021. In the March 2018 Care Quality Commission Review of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services it was recommended that Ofsted asses how schools support children and young people’s mental health as part of their inspections.

These are the first steps to taking an early-intervention strategy that will tackle a problem exacerbated by social media, school pressures and poverty as underlined by a 63% increase in self-harm amongst 13-16 year old girls between 2015-2018. Whilst steps have been taken to address limited access and increased demand, it is through inter-organisational collaboration that shortages in funding, staffing and training can be best addressed. It is therefore incumbent on schools, charities and health & social care professionals to work together to deliver high-quality CAMHS for the benefit of the estimated 800,000 children living with mental health disorders in this country.

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