Monthly Archives: July 2011

Child and Adolescent Mental Health – Every child matters!

Copy of Copy of park apr 07 006

The recent dept of Health document “No health without mental health” emphasises the need to prioritise preventative and early intervention services when responding to the mental health needs of young people.

Yet, I believe that people are unaware of the numbers of young people suffering with serious mental health problems.  Mental health promotion for young people is vital, in my opinion; failure to intervene early enough contributes to a life of distress, barriers, and problems for too many young people.  I am aware of many children struggling with the challenges of education, learning and growing up whilst also experiencing low mood, depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts.

More young people are being referred to CAMHS services.  It is worrying that at least 1 in 4 young people are likely to be referred to CAMHS during their childhood or adolescence.  Within the West Midlands CAMHS community and in-patient services for young people have been developed in response to this growing need.

As a CAMHS nurse and a senior lecturer at BCU I believe passionately that the comprehensive health care needs of young people and their families must be integral to our courses.  We must ensure all pre-registration student nurses have opportunities to consider child and adolescent development issues, the importance of attachments and supportive relationships, risk and resilience factors which impact on health, the incidence and nature of mental health and related challenges, the structure, and how to access  CAMHS.

Child and adolescent mental health is “everybody’s business” whether we are engaged directly or indirectly with children and their families.  We have a timely opportunity to integrate this perspective within our student population: tomorrow’s registered nurses.

I hope we do not miss this opportunity.

We also offer a Learning beyond Registration CAMHS pathway as part of our BSc(Hons) Mental Health Studies programme for registered nurses, allied professionals, and other people interested in the health and wellbeing of young people. Please contact me if you are interested in hearing more about our learning beyond registration BSC(Hons) CAMHS pathway.  We are currently planning the two double modules which will be offered during the 2011/12 academic year which is scheduled to commence in October this year.

Course details

Wake up and smell the (decaffeinated) coffee.


So Great Britain isn’t so great after all. Perhaps this isn’t news for many but I was very surprised to read that Britain is well down the list on the WHO league table of health care

(see link and go to p18)

I always thought, in true English stiff upper lip and arrogant fashion that ‘we are the best’ and Johnny foreigner should be envious. But hold on – it turns out that Pierre, Gustav and Ricardo all enjoy a far better health system that poor John English. It turns out that we are 17th and that our partisan friends in Europe have a far better time than us.

Why is this? Well, I have the answer.

You see, England once ruled the waves and Queen Vicky dominated the world with the Commonwealth reaching all corners of the globe. England was the dominant world force and when Britannia spoke, all listened in trepidation. But all we did was speak and not act. We were so confident that we were ahead of everyone that we didn’t try as hard as the others – and try they did.

The result was the rest of the world very quietly, caught up with this country and left it behind.

Unfortunately I think that this is true of many facets of life in this country not just health. Perhaps there is some solace in the countries that we are ahead of – two countries placed in the 30’s caused me even greater surprise (and delight admittedly).

So what next? I would like to think that we are waking up and realise that arrogance does not make a world leader. Hard work, effort and a driven desire to be the best makes the leader – the question is, are we waking up to the smell of coffee or pressing the snooze button for ten more minutes sleep?