Primary Health Care Research & Development

Development

Managing child and adolescent mental health problems in primary care: taking the leap from knowledge to practice

Aaron K. Vallancea1a2 c1, Tami Kramera1a3, Dick Churchilla4 and M. Elena Garraldaa1a3

a1 Clinical Research Fellow, Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, St Mary's Campus, Imperial College School of Medicine (Imperial College London), Norfolk Place, London, UK

a2 Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust, Surrey, UK

a3 Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Central and North West London Foundation Trust, London, UK

a4 Associate Clinical Professor, Division of Primary Care, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Abstract

In 2009, a conference at Imperial College London brought together experts on the primary care provision of child and adolescent mental health. The following paper highlights various themes from the conference, and particularly focuses on general practice. Despite international and national guidance, child and adolescent mental health provision in primary care is limited in the UK and globally. We argue that primary care services are in fact well placed to assess, diagnose, and manage child and adolescent mental health problems. The barriers to such provision are considered from the perspective of both service users and providers, and the possible ways to overcome such challenges are discussed. The paper is informed by various epidemiological and intervention studies and comparisons between different countries and health systems are explored.

(Received June 29 2010)

(Accepted July 03 2011)

(Online publication August 22 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence to: Dr Aaron K. Vallance, Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial College School of Medicine, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK. Email: a.vallance@imperial.ac.uk

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