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Trust doctors to speak at national adolescent health conference

Two consultant psychiatrists from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust have been invited to be guest speakers at a national conference focussing on improving mental health services for teenagers.

Dr Jon Wilson from the Trust's youth team at 80 St Stephen’s Road, Norwich, was chosen earlier this year to be part of Health Minister Norman Lamb's taskforce to examine how to improve the way children's mental health services are organised and commissioned. He will be joined at the conference by Dr Sarah Maxwell from the Trust's child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Great Yarmouth.

The conference - Improving Adolescent Mental Health Services And Bridging The Gap between Adolescent and Adult Mental Health - will be held at Hallam Conference Centre in London on Thursday, 9 October.

Dr Wilson will be among a number of youth mental health specialists from across the UK, who will be discussing  how to develop emotional resilience in teenagers, as well as presenting case studies from CAMHS, schools, schools-based counselling and Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services.

"I'm delighted to have been invited to this conference, as our Trust has achieved so much locally but it’s clear that more needs to be done to support the mental health needs of young people locally and nationally," said Dr Wilson. 

"Unlike most mental health youth services, our Trust's services support young people from the age of 14 through to age 25 and not 18, and are therefore already bridging the gap between youth and adult mental health services. 

 "If we can deal with mental health problems early on, we give young people a much better chance of recovery and living a full life."

According to information gathered by YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, 850,000 children and young people in the UK have a mental health problem. Childhood and teenage years are when mental health is developed and patterns are set for the future. So a child with good mental health is much more likely to have good mental health as an adult, and to be able to take on adult responsibilities and fulfill their potential. There is still a huge stigma around mental health, which means children and young people are not getting the support they need.​