Conference report: CAMHS 2013
Submitted by Dr Jane Callaghan
The Conference ‘Children and Young People’s Mental Health’ at the University of Northampton, 3-5 July was a great success. Focusing on young people’s mental health at a time of austerity, the conference drew together participants from academic and practitioner backgrounds, from the HE, public and voluntary sector. The conference offered a fantastic opportunity for multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral reflection on the challenges and opportunities that the current economic situation presents in working with children and young people on issues of mental health. We welcomed 134 delegates from around the UK, Pakistan, South Africa, Italy, Sweden and Israel. We and our guests delivered 65 papers and workshops, and 16 posters.
We had five internationally renowned keynote speakers, who inspired us with their work and their enthusiasm.Jane Barlow examined what is meant by the term ‘infant mental health’ and reviewed recent evidence about the key factors that contribute to mental health in infancy. Anna Lavis spoke movingly about the importance of listening to the voices of the carers of young people experiencing early psychosis. Fiona Warner Gale inspired us to take action on challenging mental health stigma. Sami Timimi strongly argued that that the autism label has developed as a result of ideological changes rather scientific discoveries and called for debate on whether the continuing use of the label is desirable. Panos Vostanis discussed the recent advances in the provision of child mental health services, with a particular focus on socially vulnerable young people and that even with limited resources it is possible to develop designated service provision.
The conference was organised as a collaboration of the University of Northampton (The Division of Psychology’s MSc CAMH team, and the Centre for Children and Youth), and Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust. It was convened by Dr Jane Callaghan.
A summary of the twitterfeed for this event can be found on Storify.