young mental healthA review that aims to aid understanding of what causes children to develop mental health problems and what can be done to help has been launched.

‘What Good Looks Like in Psychological Services for Children, Young People and their Families’, launched at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families (CYPF), is a handbook providing guidance on providing good quality psychological services and the roles that psychologists and other mental health practitioners can play. The Review explains how a transformation in mental health services can be achieved by developing models of care based on psychological evidence. It provides a blueprint for how it believes UK services should be set up to provide the best treatments and best value.

Julia Faulconbridge, chair of CYPF Faculty, said: “Children’s mental health is in crisis and, if acted upon, this review has the potential to transform services to prevent long-term problems and offer the effective help that young people and families want and deserve. It has been a privilege to work with so many experts and young people on this review.” 

The review helps the understanding of:

What helps children to develop well and what causes psychological difficulties to develop

How psychological services can support the positive development of children and young people in families, schools and communities by working together and boosting psychological knowledge in primary care, early years services and education

How services can effectively intervene early with children and families to avoid long-term problems by making it easy to access the right, good quality help as soon as it is needed

How services can really help the children and young people whose psychological difficulties are serious and complex across specialist mental health care (CAMHS), social care and youth offending services.

Sarah Brennan, chief executive of mental health charity YoungMinds, added: “This should be essential reading for everyone remotely connected to funding, providing or advising children and young people’s mental health services.”