New e-portal set to transform knowledge, skills and attitudes towards child mental health

A Consortium of experts is to deliver a £2.2m educational and advice programme to improve mental health outcomes for children

Identifying and treating young people with mental health problems is set to be transformed with the announcement today (Wednesday 10 October) of a pioneering e-portal which aims to support professionals in preventing decline in children’s mental health.

The interactive hub, funded by the Department of Health, will speed up the time it takes to diagnose a child with mental health issues by ensuring professionals working with children and young people – including NHS staff, early years’ professionals, teachers, social workers and police - know what signs to look out for. It will also ensure the messages given to children and young people by these professionals are concise and consistent.

The two year programme will be delivered by a Consortium, headed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and also includes: the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Psychological Society, National Children’s Bureau and children’s charity YoungMinds.

The e-portal, which is set to go live in Spring 2014 will be accessible anywhere in the world and will provide:

  • A suite of e-training resources tailored specifically at health professionals and non-health professionals working with children and young people
  • Assessment and outcome evaluation aids throughout the programme which help determine how valuable the knowledge and skills gained from the resources have been
  • A package of e-enabled therapies which suggest the best treatment for a child or young person and the additional resources that may be needed to support that treatment

The Consortium will also work alongside The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) which will be delivering the e-learning materials that relate to counselling for the programme.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Vice President for Education, Dr Alistair Thomson, said:

'This electronic portal will provide a high quality learning resource to enhance the knowledge, skills and confidence of the multitude of professionals that work directly or indirectly with children and young people with mental health problems.

'It will help identify children and adolescents with mental health issues at the earliest possible stage thereby not only directly improving children’s health and other associated benefits like improving their educational achievement, but thanks to early intervention, preventing conditions worsening when that child moves into adulthood.'


For further information and interviews with Dr Alistair Thomson, or any of the other Members of the Consortium, please contact Lauren Snaith / 020 7092 6067

Notes to editor:

  • To find out more about the organisations which form the Consortium, please visit the websites listed below:

  • The e-portal for children and young people's mental health is funded by the Department of Health. It was announced in February 2012 as part of additional funding to extend the Children and Young People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) project. The e-portal will extend the skills, knowledge and awareness of staff working directly with children and young people, including NHS clinicians, staff working in universal settings such as teachers and social workers, and counsellors working in a range of educational settings.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme works with the NHS in England to increase access to treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, ensuring that mental health is given equal priority to physical health, and that local services are helped to achieve the objectives set out in the government's mental health strategy, ‘No Health without Mental Health’.