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Children's Mental Health Week at King's

For Children’s Mental Health Week, the The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and its partners have been sharing their expertise, research and support for children and parents to ensure everyone has the tools to look after their emotional well-being. Find out more about just some of the work taking place in this area below.

The IoPPN undertakes ground-breaking research to understand and support young people's mental health. It’s work, alongside the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM), and the Maudsley Charity supports a shared ambition to ensure all children can enter adulthood with optimal mental health. 


On average, 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental illness, whilst half of all adult mental health conditions begin by the age of 14.

The statistics on children’s mental health tell a story we don’t want to hear, what’s more, the situation has only been made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This needs to change.

That’s why the IoPPN has partnered with Maudsley Charity and SLaM NHS Trust, to launch Change the Story – an ambitious public awareness and fundraising campaign.

Find out more about the campaign here

Top Tips for Parents with Professor Stephen Scott

For Children’s Mental Health Week, Professor Stephen Scott, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, shared his top 5 tips for parents to support their child’s mental health. These included the importance of play, giving praise and how to encourage good behaviour.

Watch the videos here

New Research: Lonely teenagers at greater risk of poor educational outcomes

Research published to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week found that young people who experience loneliness during early adolescence (age 12) are at greater risk of leaving school with lower grades than their non-lonely counterparts, even if they stop being lonely later on.

The study, published in Development and Psychopathology, found that loneliness (whether temporary or ongoing) during someone’s teenage years increases their risk of a number of negative outcomes, including poor mental health, self-harm, compulsive mobile phone use, and unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking. The findings suggest that, without the right support, the negative effects of loneliness could act as a force for downwards social mobility - a negative change in social position relative to where they started.

Read more here

Read a blog about how we can support young people experiencing loneliness here

Supporting a child with an eating disorder: a clinical academic's perspective

Throughout the last few decades, eating disorders have been increasing in prevalence and the age of onset has been getting younger. In this Q&A, Professor Ulrike Schmidt discusses how parents and carers can support young people with an eating disorder.

Read more here

'Families Under Pressure' in a post-pandemic world

Following early concerns about the disruption to families that resulted from the first lockdown, IoPPN, SLaM NHS Trust, and Maudsley Charity created Families Under Pressure – a series of twelve bite-sized animations designed to support families during lockdown by providing evidence-based parenting tips.

In this blog, Edmund Sonuga-Barke, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Andrea Danese, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, discuss the impact the series has had.

Read more here

Examining the impacts of the pandemic on young people's mental health 

Since children and adolescents were considered a low health risk, they were far from a priority in the early stages of the pandemic. But with the disruption to schools, prolonged social isolation, health anxiety, and economic instability, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed young people to many known risk factors for mental illness, raising serious concerns about their wellbeing.

This blog examines the impact of COVID on children and young people, and asks what we can do to support their mental health and wellbeing. 

Read more here

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