Wednesday, 6 June 2018


This topic guide has been written by Dr Andrea Danese, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, and Dr Patrick Smith, Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Credit to the National and Specialist Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Clinic, Michael Rutter Centre, Maudsley Hospital.

Most children and young people (hereby children) experience at least one traumatic event before age of 18 years. A sizeable minority of children exposed to trauma will develop symptoms including re-living of the trauma, avoidance strategies, and physiological hyper-arousal. When these symptoms persist for more than one month after trauma and are impairing, they indicate a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is important to identify and treat PTSD because many children fail to recover from the symptoms without treatment. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the treatment with the strongest evidence based in children and is often effective. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) can also be helpful. There is no clear evidence to support use of medications for treatment of PTSD in children, but medications may be very helpful to treat other psychiatric problems (e.g., depression, anxiety) that often accompany PTSD.

The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health - accessed 06.06.18

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Internet Use, Depression, and Anxiety in a Healthy Adolescent Population: Prospective Cohort Study


Background: Psychiatric disorders, including conduct disturbances, substance abuse, and affective disorders, emerge in approximately 20% of adolescents. In parallel with the rise in internet use, the prevalence of depression among adolescents has increased. It remains unclear whether and how internet use impacts mental health in adolescents.


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

"Ethical Issues for Direct-to-Consumer Digital Psychotherapy Apps: Addressing Accountability, Data Protection, and Consent"


"This paper focuses on the ethical challenges presented by direct-to-consumer (DTC) digital psychotherapy services that do not involve oversight by a professional mental health provider. DTC digital psychotherapy services can potentially assist in improving access to mental health care for the many people who would otherwise not have the resources or ability to connect with a therapist. However, the lack of adequate regulation in this area exacerbates concerns over how safety, privacy, accountability, and other ethical obligations to protect an individual in therapy are addressed within these services. In the traditional therapeutic relationship, there are ethical obligations that serve to protect the interests of the client and provide warnings. In contrast, in a DTC therapy app, there are no clear lines of accountability or associated ethical obligations to protect the user seeking mental health services. The types of DTC services that present ethical challenges include apps that use a digital platform to connect users to minimally trained nonprofessional counselors, as well as services that provide counseling steered by artificial intelligence and conversational agents. There is a need for adequate oversight of DTC nonprofessional psychotherapy services and additional empirical research to inform policy that will provide protection to the consumer."

JMIR Ment Health 2018;5(2):e32



Systematic review into cyberbullying and self-harm in children and young people

"The Population Psychiatry, Suicide and Informatics (PPSI) research group at Swansea University has published a systematic review of research on the relationship between cyberbullying in children and young people, and self-harm and suicidal behaviour. The review of 33 articles from 26 independent studies, covering 156,384 children and young people, concluded that children who have been cyberbullied were at a greater risk than those who had not of both suicidal behaviours and self-harm."


Monday, 30 April 2018

Does Mentoring Work?

"The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a report assessing the impact of over 350 mentoring programmes across England on the lives of vulnerable youth. Overall, the report suggests there is good evidence that mentoring can have a modest positive outcome. Key findings include: the most effective mentoring programmes and relationships are those that last, are properly monitored, include support for mentors and allow young people a role in setting the agenda." Source CASPAR weekly update


Children’s rights and justice: Minimum age requirements in the EU

"The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a report that examines EU Member States’ approaches to age requirements and limits, highlighting how age limits can impact children’s rights. Key findings include: age thresholds for children to be heard vary across the EU; thresholds also vary according to whether they relate to family, criminal or asylum law or whether children are witnesses, victims or need to be taken care of; and procedural safeguards may not apply to all children to the age of 18 across Member States. The report also includes recommendations on how Member States can remove inconsistencies to better deliver child protection. Correspondingly, the FRA has also published a report examining the age assessment and fingerprinting of children in asylum procedures." - Source CASPAR weekly update 30-04-18