DH funds e-portal for children’s mental health

 A new electronic portal funded by the Department of Health will help clinicians and other professionals to diagnose and treat mental illness in children.

The £2.2m interactive hub, due to go live in spring 2014, will be delivered by a consortium of paediatric and mental health experts headed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

It will run for two years, offering online training and therapeutic resources to help professionals identify mental health issues in children and young people at an early stage and provide appropriate treatment.

Aimed at NHS professionals, teachers, nursery staff, social workers and police, the e-portal is a new extension of the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies project.

Its resources, accessible anywhere in the world, will include e-training resources, outcome evaluation aids and e-enabled therapies.

Dr Alistair Thomson, Vice President for Education at the RCPCH, 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 but thanks to early intervention, preventing conditions worsening when that child moves into adulthood.”