New Book Raises Awareness of Children and Young People's Mental Health

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A new book, written by a team of University of Worcester academics, aims to raise awareness of children and young people’s mental health.

One in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years, or potentially 3 children in every classroom, has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet services to help them are being cut in many areas.

This book aims to give anyone who works with children and young people, whether they work in Early Years, are a teacher, youth worker, social worker, or health visitor, the knowledge and skills to respond appropriately, supporting and ‘signposting’ children, young people and families where necessary.

Written by a multi-disciplinary team of experienced experts, Introduction to Child and Adolescent Mental Health, strikes an effective balance between introducing the relevant theory and showing how this can be considered and understood in practice settings.

It explores common mental health concepts and influences and examines topics like the difference between emotional and mental health issues and how mental health problems develop in children and young people.

It then moves on to explore the vital skills that people working in the field will need to develop like effective communication and basic counselling skills, and introduces some of the common interventions like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic theory and Family therapy approaches.

The book is written by Worcester lecturers Maddie Burton, Briony Williams and Erica Pavord, and complements the University’s Foundation degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

“We wanted to provide some basic but vital information for anyone working with children and young people, including students on courses such as teaching and health related areas.” said Maddie.

“Mental health can be such a taboo and the number of children and young people being diagnosed with potential problems and difficulties seems to be growing, so we need to do something that opens a dialogue across the breadth of settings where children and young people are in contact with practitioners and professionals who may not have understanding or experience of mental health issues.

“Despite the current Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, which is transforming mental health delivery and increasing opportunity of access, provision remains patchy within a climate of cuts to service delivery.”

The book is published by Sage and is released on April 26, which coincides with the launch last month of MindEd, the new eportal for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, where adults can access a range of information.