Children and Young People's Mental Health: Taking a Cross-Sectoral Approach

Three children in every classroom in Scotland will experience mental health problems by the time they are 16. Yet 19 children a day are missing out on mental health services in Scotland. 

Mental health services in Scotland are facing a number of key challenges, including the rising demand for treatment and consequent need for preventative work.

Despite growing consensus across mental health policy and strategies around the importance of prevention and early intervention, ensuring that treatment and support is timely is challenging and there is a lack of clarity around appropriate pathways of care. Organisations must work together across sectors to develop approaches that give children and young people the support and help they need, at the time they need it.  

The event 

Join us on 6 September to examine the current policy landscape and latest developments surrounding children and young people's mental health in Scotland. We examine the key issues and challenges facing schools and colleges, children's services and the NHS and local authorities. We will share learning around what more must be done to increase cross-sectoral approaches to prevention and early intervention.

In association with


Key issues to be addressed

  • Understanding children and young people's mental health in Scotland
  • The Scottish policy landscape and the latest developments
  • A whole systems approach to improving the mental health of children and young people 
  • Tackling stigma and having a strong anti-bullying approach to improve children and young people's lives
  • Joining up support for children and young people across sectors and working collaboratively across services 
  • Building the capacity of professionals to work across sectors to ensure that prevention and early intervention is delivered more consistently and is the onus of all 
  • Case studies of good practice within and outwith Scotland 


09:00    Registration and Refreshments 

09:30 Session 1: Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health 

09:30    Welcome and introduction from the morning Chair

 Alex Cole-Hamilton, Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western and Health Spokesperson 

09:35   Keynote Address: The Landscape of Mental Health for Children and Young People in Scotland 

  • The current policy landscape of children and young people's mental health 
  • The 10 Year Mental Health Strategy and plans for a dedicated children and young people's wellbeing strategy for autumn 2017
  • Current service provision and the effectiveness of CAMHS
  • ​Priorities for future support and treatment 

Billy Watson, Chief Executive, SAMH

10:00   Questions 

10:10   Key Issues for Children and Young People Today 

Introduction from session leaders: Katie Rafferty, Director, respectme and Laura Sharpe, Programme Manager - Education and Young People, SeeMe

Delegates will participate in themed table and then panel discussions to examine key issues facing children and young people today with a focus on tackling stigma and promoting anti-bullying.
Each table discussion will be facilitated by a topic experts who will then come together as a panel to feedback to the group. To ensure that children and young people’s voices are included, each table will also have a young ambassador present.

10:20  Group Discussion

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • The impact of technological changes on children and young people's mental health: what are the risks and what can be done to reduce bullying and stigma using digital technology
  • Linking up approaches to mental health intervention: sending clear cross-sectoral messages to ensure the onus for improving children and young people’s mental health is on all
  • Mental health outcomes are worse for children and young people who are LGBT+, in care or from a background of deprivation - the key challenges for supporting these more vulnerable groups and tackling specific forms of bullying, stigma and inequality​

Amy Buchanan, Housing Support Worker (16+ Project), Barnardo's Scotland

Mark Stewart MSYP, Convener, Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, Scottish Youth Parliament

Chloe Robertson MSYP, Convener, Health and Wellbeing Committee, Scottish Youth Parliament

10:50   Panel Feedback

11:20   Networking and Refreshments 

11:40 Session 2: Taking a Cross-Sectoral Approach To Services

11:40  Welcome back and introduction from the session chair Monica Lennon, Labour MSP for Central Scotland and Shadow Minister for Inequality (across Health and Education)

What more can be done to ensure that every child has access to the services they need, when they need them? How can services work in a coordinated way to support children's mental health and wellbeing?

11:45  Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Children’s & Young People's Mental Health

  • The impact of ACEs for the development of mental health services for children and young people

 Professor Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Mental Health & Wellbeing), University of Glasgow

12:05  Prevention and Early Intervention in Health: CAMHS

  • Increasing access to early psychological intervention in universal children's service

Dr Suzy O'Connor, Programme Lead for Psychology Specialist Practice (Early Intervention), NHS Education for Scotland 

12:25  The Strategic Role of Educational Psychology: Building Skills & Capacity in the Context of Education and Beyond

  • Unique strategic position to support children, families, schools & other agencies
  • Established relevant knowledge and skills within the profession for individuals, targeted groups, whole classes/school & universal/curricular approaches across all age groups
  • Unique skills and knowledge for building skills & capacity in others using implementation science

Dr Anne Greig, Educational Psychologist, Argyll and Bute Council

12:45   Questions and Discussion 

13:00   Lunch and Networking 

13:50 Session 3: Good Practice Case Studies 

Welcome from session chair Suki Wan MSYP, Vice Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament 

Can we do more to encourage wider accountability and ownership for children and young people's mental health? What does good practice delivering prevention, early intervention and cross-sectoral working look like? 

13:50   Enhancing the Wellbeing and Prospects of Children and Families in Scotland 

  • Our model and approach to early intervention
  • Where we work and how we are growing
  • The impact of Place2Be for children and young people and parent and carers
  • A teacher’s perspective on working with us

    Jonathan Wood, National Manager, Place2Be

14:15  School-based Counselling in Wales and Northern Ireland 

  • The evidence base of the approach
  • The practical application in Northern Ireland

Dr Mhairi Thurston, Board Member, The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

Edith Bell, Director Counselling, Family Works

14:40  Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health in Ayrshire

  • Re-designing the CAMHS model within a reframed integration agenda
  • Focusing on shared responsibility and the ‘whole system’
  • Co-production and working with partners across sectors
  • Transforming the way children and young people access support, help and intervention

Tommy Stevenson, Senior Manager (CAMHS/CEDS), North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership

15:00  Questions and Discussion 

15:30  Close of Day

*Agenda subject to change


Scottish Arbitration Centre, 125 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AD | MAP


 Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

6 September 2017


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