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International Symposium: Young People and Mental Health: Prevention and Early Intervention in Europe

Deadline for delegate registrations is now fast approaching. Therefore, to ensure that your organisation is represented, please book online or complete and return the attached registration form at your earliest convenience in order to secure your delegate place(s).


Jürgen Scheftlein
Policy Officer, Programme and Knowledge Management
DG SANCO, European Commission

Prof. Ernesto Caffo
Professor of Child Neuropsychiatry
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

According to the latest EU Youth Report, mental illnesses among young people are more common than ever in the European Union. An estimated 10-20% of young Europeans suffer from mental health illnesses, with one-fifth suffering from developmental, emotional and behavioural problems. Young people have to face many challenges related to the transition from childhood to adulthood which are exacerbated by societal and family pressures. The mental health of children and young people is also influenced by the economic crisis, both through the situation of their parents and through their own difficulties.

Failure to treat mental health disorders in children can have a devastating impact on their future, resulting in reduced job and life expectations and, as such, appropriate measures of prevention and early intervention to tackle mental distress need to be implemented. Intervening early for children with mental health problems has been shown not only to reduce health costs but also realise larger savings such as improved educational outcomes and reduced unemployment and crime. Better care of young people's mental health can be ensured in schools through better training of staff and raising awareness of bullying, aggression and exclusion practices. Poor relationships have heavy outcomes on young people's educational, behavioural, social and psychological attitudes and, therefore, there is a great need to provide support for parents.

This timely international symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to explore the effectiveness of current policy measures at the EU level to ensure the positive mental health of children and young people, and raise awareness of prevention and early intervention. This symposium will allow delegates to discuss the vital role of health practitioners, as well as schools and parents in identifying warning signs for children and young people at high risk of mental health problems.

Why Attend?

  • Analyse the latest EU policies for promoting mental health and wellbeing in children and young people in Europe
  • Examine how prevention and early intervention measures can be strengthened to support young people's mental health in both schools and homes
  • Discuss the role of multi-agency working in identifying warning signs for children at higher risk of mental health problems and raising awareness
  • Explore the role of the internet and social media in reaching the youth and raising awareness of mental health issues


09:30 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair’s Welcome and Opening Remarks

10:10 {C}{C} Young People and Mental Health - Understanding the Current EU Policy Framework
  • Joint Action to Improve the Mental Health of the Population - Following Up on the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • National Implementation of the European Pact for Mental Health - Member States' Receptivity and Responsibility
  • Towards World Mental Health Day 2013 - Planned Activities at EU-level
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Developments
Jürgen Scheftlein, Policy Officer, Programme and Knowledge Management, DG SANCO, European Commission (confirmed)
Yves Brand, Policy Officer, Mental Health Europe (confirmed)
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:30 Identifying Risk Factors and Warning Signs - Exchanging Best Practices for Intervention in Schools
  • Mental Health at School - Improved Training of School Staff
  • Raising Awareness of and Investing in Suicide Prevention Education
  • Proactive Care of Youth Mental Health - Using Informal Education Tools
  • Improving Attendance and Participation in Schools - Initiatives to Reduce Early-Leaving Rates
  • Bullying, Aggression and Exclusion Practices - Prevention and Intervention
  • Recommendations
Prof. Ernesto Caffo, Professor of Child Neuropsychiatry, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (confirmed)
Chris Harrison, Board Member and Former President, European School Heads Association (confirmed)
12:15 Second Round of Discussions
12:45 Networking Lunch
13:45 Supporting Parents to Promote Early Intervention and Prevention Measures
  • Discussing the Effectiveness of Prenatal and Postnatal Home Visiting Programmes
  • The FAST (Families and Schools Together) Approach - A Successful Tool
  • Overview of the CAMHEE (Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the Enlarged European Union) Project
  • Reducing Poverty and Health Inequalities to Tackle Mental Health Problems
  • Parents' Role in Recognising Mental Health Conditions - Developing Skills and Training to Identify and Treat Problems at an Early Stage
  • Recommendations
Kevin Jones, Secretary General, European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) (confirmed)
14:15 Third Round of Discussions
14:45 Afternoon Coffee Break
15:00 {C}{C} The Role of the Internet in Promoting Positive Mental Health in Children and Young People
  • Responsible Reporting and Portrayal of Mental Health Problems - Availability of Youth-Friendly Online Resources to Educate and Raise Awareness
  • Discussing the Effectiveness of E-Therapy for Mental Health Problems
  • Innovation in Mental Health Communication - Better Use of Social Media to Reach the Youth and Vulnerable Individuals
  • Recommendations
Ingunn Hagen, Professor, Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (confirmed)
Barbara McIntosh, Head of Children and Young People's Programmes, Mental Health Foundation (confirmed)
Mei Leng Yew, Member of the Advisory Panel, Innovation Labs Project (confirmed)
15:30 Fourth Round of Discussions
16:00 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16:10 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:40 Symposium Close

Who Should Attend?

  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • CAMHS Practitioners
  • Commissioning Managers
  • School Nurses and Health Visitors
  • Directors of Children's Services
  • Families Services Officers
  • Schools and Children's Trusts
  • Early Years Practitioners
  • General Practitioners
  • Teenage Pregnancy Coordinators
  • Sexual Health Strategy Coordinators
  • Local, Regional and National Health Services
  • Health Treatment/Advisory Services
  • Teachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinators
  • Counselling Services
  • Health Promotion Advisers
  • Child and Educational Psychologists
  • Family Planning Specialists
  • Drug and Alcohol Action Teams
  • GUM Clinics
  • Social Workers and Social Services Officers
  • Child Protection Officers
  • Youth Workers and Youth Offending Teams
  • Community Safety Teams
  • Suicide Support Services
  • Suicide Bereavement Support Groups
  • Psychotherapists
  • Internet Safety Teams
  • Child Safety Online Teams
  • Social Media Teams
  • Police Service
  • Probation Service
  • Health and Safety Teams
  • Local Authorities and Councillors
  • Central Government Departments and Agencies
  • Third Sector Representatives
  • Academics and Researchers
Tags: young people, mental health, early intervention, EU policy, conference
Published May 15, 2013 11:20 AM - Last modified May 15, 2013 11:20 AM