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Leading child mental health organisations call for global action against infant, child and adolescent trauma

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 30 May 2023 - Research has shown that most mental disorders develop in childhood and adolescence before the age of 25, with one-quarter of years lived by young people with disability due to mental and substance use disorders.



To address this pressing concern and mobilise global efforts, the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP), International Society for Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology (ISAPP), World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), and World Psychiatric Association Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (WPA-CAP) have jointly declared April 23 as the World Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day (WICAMHD).

This year witnessed the second annual WICAMHD event under the theme of Stand Against Infant, Child and Adolescent Trauma.

Children and adolescents form one third of the world's population. Childhood and adolescence are foundational years characterised by growth, learning, and carefree exploration. However, many around the world are inflicted by trauma and crisis – adverse experiences which research has shown to have long-lasting effects on their mental and physical well-being.

Studies also show that about 15 percent to 43 percent of girls and 14 percent to 43 percent of boys experience at least one traumatic experience.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are also contributing factors in the development of mental disorders in adult years. The indirect and compounding effects of this is a ballooning economic burden on society, especially in the areas of healthcare and productivity loss.

Children in war zones and natural disasters are particularly vulnerable. During the second annual WICAMHD event under, three renowned speakers shared their expertise on childhood trauma.

Dr Dennis Ougrin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Visiting Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London discussed the impacts of the war in Ukraine.

Dr Fusun Cetin Cuhadaroglu, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey presented on the traumatising effects of the recent earthquake in Turkey.

Finally, Dr Michelle Miller, Director of Mental Health Programs, National Children's Alliance, United States highlighted evidence-based response for children subjected to trauma. This was followed by a panel discussion.

In addition to the main event, several national organisations held events and advocacy efforts commemorating WICAMHD.

These include the Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (IACAM), the Lithuanian Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (LVPPD), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the Austrian Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (ASCAP) and the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, College of Psychiatrists, Academy of Medicine, Singapore (SCAP).

A recording of the event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoOu7tm9oQU

Hashtag: #IACAPAP

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

ABOUT THE ORGANISATIONS

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY AND ALLIED PROFESSIONS (IACAPAP)

The International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP) mission is to advocate for the promotion of the mental health and development of children and adolescents through policy, practice and research.

For more information, visit:

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY AND PSYCHOLOGY (ISAPP)

International Society for Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology (ISAPP) is an organization established to work for the mental health of adolescents, and it is comprised of individual members devoted to working with adolescents, either in the field of child psychiatry and psychology or adult psychiatry and psychology.

The International Society for Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology's (ISAPP) mission is to increase public and professional awareness about the mental health and development of adolescents all around the world.

For more information, visit:

WORLD ASSOCIATION FOR INFANT MENTAL HEALTH (WAIMH)

The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) is a not-for-profit organization for scientific and educational professionals. WAIMH's central aim is to promote the mental wellbeing and healthy development of infants throughout the world, taking into account cultural, regional, and environmental variations and generating and disseminating scientific knowledge.

WAIMH's mission promotes education, research, and study of the effects of mental, emotional and social development during infancy on later normal and psychopathological development through international and interdisciplinary cooperation, publications, affiliate associations, and through regional and biennial congresses devoted to scientific, educational, and clinical work with infants and their caregivers.

For more information, visit:

WORLD PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY SECTION (WPA-CAP)

The World Psychiatric Association Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (WPA-CAP) section supports the overall mission and goals of the WPA in:

  • Working with its members and partners around the world to promote child and adolescent mental health and to encourage the highest possible standards of clinical practice and ethical behaviour in child and adolescent psychiatry.
  • Contributing to education programs and research, meetings, and publications to increase knowledge about child and adolescent mental disorders and skills in addressing them.
  • Disseminating knowledge about evidence-based therapy and values-based practice in child and adolescent psychiatry.
  • Being a voice for the dignity and human rights of young patients and their families
  • Upholding the rights of the child and adolescent psychiatrists where they may be challenged.

For more information, visit:

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