Children's Mental Health Week
07 February, 2022
This week marks #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek.
With a theme of Growing Together, the week encourages children (and adults) to consider how they have grown and how they can help others to grow. We're highlighting several projects and resources that are true to that theme, building upon the challenges and opportunities that young people have identified and how they are central to co-producing the way forward in Wales.
Technology Enabled Remote Monitoring in Schools (TERMS)
The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales is proudly supporting an Aneurin Bevan University Health Board led project with TEC Cymru into how technology-enabled care can be used to support students in schools. This is a Q lab funded project.
The NHS has achieved remarkable transformation and adoption of remote technology on an unprecedented scale at unprecedented speed in response to COVID-19. TERMS is hoping to gain better understanding of the barriers, challenges and opportunities that exists while implementing technology-enabled remote monitoring across agencies i.e. health and education and work with young people to co-design a service to support them.
Professor Alka Ahuja MBE said:
"The Covid-19 pandemic has created major challenges to Wales, and has taken its toll on the nation’s health, especially children and young people. School closures, disrupted friendships and uncertainty about the future are all likely contributors to the mental health issues children are facing. Early intervention is key to treating mental illness and key to preventing children falling into a mental health crisis. We believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has created new, unique opportunities to further the Whole School Approach whilst maintaining safety and creating new ways of working which are ‘pandemic-proof’ to some extent."
You'll find further information through this link, as well as opportunities to contribute to this work, at this early stage.
National mental health debate for primary schools
This Friday (11 Feb), we are hosting our first virtual debate for primary schools. The topic – 'Does technology improve your health?' – has been chosen by young people and we are delighted to partner with Technology Enabled Care Cymru and Literature Wales.
Please follow along on Friday morning (and throughout the week) as we'll be tweeting and sharing updates on social media #RCPsychDebate.
In a special podcast for Children's Mental Health Week, Dr Elaine Lockhart, and her colleagues Dr Guy Northover, Prof Alka Ahuja MBE and Dr Louise Theodosiou reflect on a written piece from a young man who went through the CAHMS system. They also discuss their childhoods and the changes they would like to see for young people in mental health support.
Dr Elaine Lockhart said:
"I think sometimes we get a little bit blinkered as we focus down in our work and our families. And they (children) are thinking about these big issues. They are wondering about the state of their planets, and what type of world they will be going out into in terms of the working world and worrying about the effects of the pandemic and whether there might be more in the future."
Sustainability and climate change
In advance of COP26, we hosted a conference informed by young people into Sustainability, Climate Change and Mental Health. The full conference has been released and is free to access.
We received academic presentations from the British Journal of Psychiatry who published a special issue on Climate Change and Mental Health. We also heard from Poppy Stowell-Evans and the work of the Youth Climate Ambassadors, whilst Dr Kathryn Speedy spoke of the work being undertaken in Eco-CAMHs services.
Additionally, the College released leaflets and information on Eco-distress for both young people and parents and carers.
Leaflets and Information
We are also promoting several resources that have been developed for young people, parents and carers. The College has a wealth of up to date information on a range of areas.