March 2017

Newsletter No. 57

2017 Winston Rickards Memorial Oration Calgary IACAPAP Congress Report 2016 History Corner Newsletter items from ‘Emerging Minds’

By Patricia Brown PhD FAPS,
Clinical Psychologist
Director, The Children’s Court Clinic, Department of Justice, Victoria.
The Children’s Court Clinic of Victoria is an icon in the child and adolescent clinical forensic field in Australia. Indeed, during its 73 years, it has earned an international reputation. As Director, Dr Brown has pioneered the modern era of the Clinic, and Child Clinical Forensic Psychology in Australia, especially in the universities, where she has been an esteemed post graduate educator. ln her address, Dr Brown will consider the Clinic’s successive models of service and pathways to change over time, and its interface with the Children’s Court. Further, she will discuss changes to child laws in Victoria and the difficulty of public advocacy for children by public servants who hold a wealth of relevant information, but have restraints on speaking out. The continued maintenance of the Children’s Court Clinic, often in a climate of intense politics in the field of protecting children, seems related to respect by authorities, including the Children’s Court itself for the Clinic’s professionalism, for its ability to engage clients meaningfully and with kindness, and for its capacity to provide an independent opinion to the Court in the best interests of the child.
On Monday 20th March 2017 at 7.30pm
Ella Latham Theatre,
The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria.

We need your support.
Mental Health for the Young and their Families (Victorian Group) is a not-for-profit lobby group of professionals, consumers and carers devoted to improvement of mental health services. We have no regular source of income other than subscriptions of members. We do not accept or apply for government grants or commercial subsidy of any kind.
By using electronic forms of communication, we keep our costs as low as possible, but we do have inevitable running expenses. Our two major events each year are the Winston Rickards Memorial Oration and our Annual General Meeting at which presentations of outstanding significance for child and adolescent mental health are delivered.
Last year it was decided to increase our annual membership fee to $50 per annum. The membership year is from July 1 to June 30 of the next year. Membership fees are now due for the coming year.
Most people on our mailing list are Associate Members, who are not required to pay, but if you wish to have a say in the running of the organisation, such as by coming to our Annual General Meeting or otherwise supporting the fine work being done by our members in advocacy for improvements in mental health services, then we would like you to subscribe. You can do this by printing out the renewal form accompanying this newsletter and sending it back with your cheque, or by Direct Funds Transfer with an email to confirm your details and match payment to membership.

by Suzanne Dean
Australia and New Zealand, enthusiastic contributors to IACAPAP for at least five decades, are part of the vast, exciting Oceania Region, involving the Pacific and Southern Oceans and bordering southern Asia. The 2016 IACAPAP Congress in Calgary, Canada, saw important Oceania initiatives flowing from urgent concerns about the wellbeing of children.
On hundreds of far-flung Pacific islands live vibrant communities with proud traditions that celebrate powerful commitment to the family and to children. Yet all are forced to battle the onslaughts of climate change, globalisation, and often rapacious commerce – and this really shows up in the area of child and adolescent mental health services.
Within Australia and New Zealand, themselves, the indigenous peoples are similarly struggling to maintain and develop their unique and inspiring cultures, which have so much to teach industrial and mass-market societies.
Even for many mainstream families Australia and New Zealand, alarming shortfalls in mental health services for the young continue to be problematic. Services need to be as well targeted and effective as possible! Further, the call to advocacy to address the plight of our children is loud and clear!
The IACAPAP Members of this Region – namely The Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Emerging Minds (the Australian multidisciplinary and community organisation focussed upon child and adolescent mental health) – are actively confronting these challenges, as is Mental Health for the Young and their Families: Victoria (MHYF Vic).
The Pacifica Study Group
Paul Robertson, Convenor of the Conference of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2013 took up the suggestion for a IACAPAP Study Group among South Pacific colleagues., supported financially by the Faculty, and by its Chair, Nick Kowalenko, as well as materially by MHYF Vic.
At the Calgary Congress, Paul reported upon the pioneering processes and outcomes of the Study Group. First, a cross-section of Island South Pacific professionals working with children, young people and families were brought together in Melbourne. Clinicians from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Samoa joined hosts from Australia and New Zealand (see 2/14 IACAPAP Bulletin No 37). A second phase of the Study Group unfolded in 2015, at the Faculty Conference in Port Vila Vanuatu, in collaboration with the local Medical Association, focussing mainly upon nursing and medical work. How these initiatives inspired outreach via iCAMH training in Sri Lanka was further described at the Calgary Congress by Kumudu Rathmayaka (see 11/16 IACAPAP Bulletin No 46).
Sharing and discussion of experience in these meetings has revealed that the fundamental difficulties of mental health resourcing, and of travel barriers across vast oceanic distances, can be tackled immediately – by lateral thinking in training, mentoring and ongoing professional development, using electronic and other means. The dedicated group that met at Calgary can look forward to further progress in South Pacific partnerships.
The Australian-Canadian Indigenous Forum: Towards Advocacy
The CAMHS establishment has so often been confused and ineffective in responding appropriately to the mental health needs of indigenous children and adolescents. This has been so around the world, perhaps especially in the Oceania and North American Regions, despite the acceptance by many countries of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Indigenous communities themselves have meanwhile striven to nurture the traditional understandings and practices which strengthen the psychological development of their children. Nevertheless, many indigenous communities find their young and their families adversely affected by clash of cultures confronted at every turn – to the point of serious suicide rates in, for instance, both Australia and Canada. With this in mind, Chris Wilkes and Suzie Dean invited to the Calgary Congress representatives of indigenous communities in Alberta Canada and Victoria Australia, to share their experiences and discuss the mental health needs of children in their respective regions.
Lead Speakers were Deborah Pace, Amelia Crowshoe (Alberta Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), Brent Scout and Bonnie Healy (Treaty 7) from Canada, and Riwai Wilson and Ruby Warber from Australia (Victorian Aboriginal Health Service). Their presentations highlighted the similarities of disturbing issues that the young people and their parents are grappling with today. The need to reconcile differing cultural values and philosophies, leading to challenges in exploring self-identity, and the need to protect family unity and integrity against destructive forces, are just two of the outstanding issues identified.
The Forum was all too brief, and everyone agreed that a much longer time must be given at the 2018 Congress to allow for expanded, indepth discussion. All the same, the Forum generated a set of ideas now being formulated by Suzie Dean into principles embodying Mental Health Rights of Indigenous Children, in line with the UN framework, to be circulated widely for amendment among indigenous groups. Bruno Falissard, President of IACAPAP, stands ready to proclaim a IACAPAP Declaration of such rights at the Prague Congress.
Therapeutic Initiatives
At the Calgary Congress were at least twelve clinicians from Oceania, with many speaking about services – a main focus for Oceania. A keynote address by Patrick McGorry highlighted reform through investment in the mental health, wellbeing and productivity of young people.
Noteworthy also were at least three other sessions on therapeutic work. Two very popular, linked workshops on psychodynamic psychotherapy with adolescents was backed up by consideration of outcome and process research, some of which is Australian. The first workshop, led by Nanette Gerlach and Suzie Dean, was titled “Seeking the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful”, exploring self-identity emergence through psychodynamic psychotherapy with adolescents. The second, titled “Confronting Hiccups to Black Holes” was conducted by Ros Webb, exploring the use of psychodynamic psychotherapy with adolescents experiencing deep inner nothingness. Generous Canadian colleagues, Ursula Hines and Cherelyn Lakusta, supported the Australian presenters, and Cherelyn was a Panel Discussant in both workshops.
Complementary was Margaret Nixon’s session describing “Enhancing Emotional Literacy through Visual Arts”, a primary school art program grounded in psychoanalytic principles, designed for delivery by classroom teachers, and aiming to actively promote psychological wellbeing.
Bringing the detail of actual therapeutic practice with children, adolescents and families was seen as critical to the future of IACAPAP Congresses.
A New IACAPAP Coordinator of the Oceania Region: And Forward to Future IACAPAP Congresses
Nick Kowalenko is the new IACAPAP Coordinator for Oceania. Nick has been central to Australian and New Zealand child and adolescent mental health for many years. Not only has he been Chair of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry since 2011, but he has also been, since 2000, Deputy Chair and the New South Wales Director of Emerging Minds. Since 2015, too, he has been an Executive Member of Parent and Family Mental Health World Wide. Nick is extremely well placed to lead the child and adolescent mental health field in Oceania – encouraging action throughout the Region.
The exciting initiatives taken from the Oceania to the Calgary Congress are all ongoing, and it is to be expected that their continuing strength will flow towards the IACAPAP Congress in Prague in 2018. New initiatives will also emerge, flourish and flow forth to Prague!
Further a IACAPAP Congress is being planned to be held in Oceania in the foreseeable future (to be announced) .
MHYF Vic ‘s own active projects form part of this overall thrust – in particular its commitment to the mental health needs of indigenous children and youth, and its development of a Best Practice Atlas for the field.
The Demonstration Child Guidance Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio opened in 1924. But there had been over ninety years of support services to children prior to the establishment of what became Cleveland Guidance Center. Several services amalgamated over the years and now are combined as Applewood Centers. This is a private, not for profit agency that has schools, mental health services, and foster care programs.
In 1832, the first free school was established and led to the formation of the Children’s Aid Society in 1865, which was Cleveland’s first charity. The CAS merged with Applewood Centers in 2004.
In 1876 the Cleveland Humane Society was founded with a mandate for services to both children and animals. In 1945 this society became Children’s Services. In 1966 the Jones Home for Children, originally begun in 1887, merged with Children’s Services. In the same year, Cleveland Guidance Center became the Child Guidance Center. In 1997, Children’s Services and the Child Guidance Centers merged to form Applewood Centers.
In 1970 the Friends School was started and became the School on Magnolia. It merged with the Child Guidance Center in 1982 and then was renamed the Eleanor Gerson School in 1984, and then merging with Applewood in 1997.
Applewood Centers is dedicated to addressing a variety of behavioral, emotional and learning problems, we provide a continuum of care from outpatient counseling to residential treatment. Services include residential treatment programs, foster care and adoption, The Gerson School – an alternative day school, and an array of community-based services including psychiatry, in-home therapy, school-based counseling, prevention and consultation services..
Services are provided from four sites in north-east Cleveland for over 6000 children per year. Services in provided in English and Spanish. A list of the mental health services is given below:
Outpatient Counseling – For children up to age 21 who have mental health issues or exhibiting a variety of problematic behavioral issues. Alcohol and Drug Assessment and Treatment Services treats youth who have co-occurring mental health disorders with substance abuse.
– For youth who have severe emotional disturbance and in need of intensive level of mental health treatment to be stable and safe.
Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST) – wraparound services for children and youth with emotional and behavioral disturbance who have been witnesses of violence, are reunifying with their families and/or are in conflict with their parents.
Multisystemic Therapy® (MST) – For youth exhibiting problematic sexual behavior or serious behavioral problems and are at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system.
Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Helping children who have experienced very difficult or frightening events.
Kazdin’s Parent Management Training – Teaching and coaching parents how to change or modify problematic behaviors.
Early Childhood Mental Health – For children birth to age 6 who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioral difficulties.
Special Needs Child Care Consultation – Training for child care providers, parents and home-based care givers.
Family Preservation – Team who works with families during reunification of child from out-of-home placement.
Walk-In Outpatient Mental Health Assessments on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Jones Center
The MHYF Vic newsletter reader will see how different the services are from their foundational purpose and from each other. The Cleveland service is different because it had a rich history of diverse service delivery before the Demonstration Clinic and continued to evolve with local needs and local philanthropy. This is a big service, perhaps, not unlike Berry Street with a name that has local significance.
Jo Grimwade
Newsletter Items
Twelve items from “Emerging Minds:
Six items from December e-News
Children’s rights report 2016
The Australian Human Rights Commission recently released the Children’s Rights Report 2016, which highlights the key findings of an investigation into youth justice detention in Australia and advocates for a continued national focus on the impacts of family and domestic violence on children. The report calls for the Government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture to provide a positive framework to safeguard the rights of children and young people who are detained, and where necessary, to amend their laws and policies.
Applying the science of child development in child welfare
A recent Science to Policy and Practice paper highlights how the science of child development could be used to improve the child welfare system and better support the children, families, and communities that it serves. It also outlines the basic capabilities adults need in order to buffer the effects of adversity and promote healthy child development. While the paper takes note of the special needs of infants and young children, the researchers’ observations and recommendations apply to children and youth of all ages, from birth through adolescence and young adulthood.
Safeguarding cultural connections for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care
The failure of organisations to implement policies and services for Aboriginal children that will safeguard their cultural connections was highlighted by the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People in two recently released reports. Key concerns include the lack of implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle and the lack of cultural care planning for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care. With the over-representation of Aboriginal children in child protection systems it highlights the importance of recognising the protective properties of cultural connection and engaging communities in determining appropriate solutions.
Children’s attachment needs in out-of-home care
This resource is intended to provide an overview of attachment and children’s attachment needs in the context of out-of-home care. Attachment is one of the formative influences on child development; laying the foundation for cognitive development, emotional regulation, exploratory play and positive social orientation towards others. This resource focuses specifically on disorganised attachment, which is thought to be common in high risk populations, and looks at the practice implications of this.
Self-esteem and personal development for kids
The NSW Department of Education and Communities provides online learning activities for children from Kindergarten to Year Three designed to develop children’s self-esteem and positive sense of identity. The Prejudice No Way program covers: developing identity and self-esteem; being comfortable with difference; understanding and taking action against prejudice so that children value their own and others differences while developing clear values linked to fairness.
Resources to support children’s positive mental health in the digital age
KidsMatter have compiled an extensive list of Australian and international resources for health and community professionals to support families and children with safe online use.
Three items from January eNews
Adolescent perceptions of online therapies for mental health issues
This Australian study describes adolescent attitudes towards online mental health treatment and examines the factors that predict these attitudes. The study found that almost three quarters of adolescents would access online therapy if they required mental health support, and value the benefits of stigma reduction and online accessibility.
Maternal depression in the early years impacts development of empathy
Children exposed to early and chronic maternal depression during the early years are at an increased risk of mental health issues and social-emotional problems including social withdrawal, poor emotion regulation, and reduced empathy towards others. Up to thirty percent of mothers in developed nations suffer from maternal depression making this an important clinical and public health concern.
Childhood poverty can rob adults of psychological health
A recent study by Cornell University has shown that childhood poverty can cause significant psychological damage in adulthood. The study found that children who experienced poverty had more stress, antisocial behaviour such as aggression and bullying, and increased feelings of helplessness, than children from higher socio-economic backgrounds. Early intervention to prevent these problems is crucial, as well as increasing low socio-economic families’ incomes to reduce a child’s exposure to poverty.
Three items from February eNews
The new school year can be an exciting and challenging time for families. The Australian Trauma and Grief Network have a variety of resources to help you and your child to cope and manage some of the challenges that being at school can bring. Topics include supporting your child when they start school, tips for talking to your child’s school and helping your child when they are changing schools.
Supporting families through adversity and trauma
About two thirds of Australian children will experience a traumatic event or deal with adversity before they are 16 years old. The Facing Tough Times booklet, developed by the Trauma and Grief Network, provides information about how to support your family through adversity and trauma.
New online service for parents of teenagers
ReachOut Parents is a free online service providing evidence-based practical support and tips that encourage effective communication and relationships between parents and young people aged 12-18 years. The online service provides parents with information and advice on issues such as bullying, sex and communication, peer pressure, and school and study stress.
Another interesting link from a member:
: “The faulty child welfare system is the real issue behind our youth justice crisis” —

After much thought our website has been significantly revised to give casual visitors immediate information about what we do and what we stand for, whilst at the same time allowing members to go straight to specific sections such as Projects or Newsletters or Events, without having to navigate past reams of information.
Now that the main revision has been implemented we are working on tasks of development of Projects to give us the evidence base for our advocacy. There are quite a few items under development at the present time which are not yet reflected in the website but over the next few months we expect to see a burgeoning of activity.
Visit us on

2016 MHYF Vic Committee
* President : Jo Grimwade
* Vice-President : Jenny Luntz
* Past President: Allan Mawdsley
* Secretary : Celia Godfrey
* Treasurer : Anne Booth
* Membership Secretary:Kaye Geoghegan
* Projects Coordinator, Kylie Cassar
* WebMaster, Ron Ingram
* Newsletter Editor, Allan Mawdsley
* Youth Consumer Representative, vacant
* Members without portfolio:
Suzie Dean, Miriam Tisher.


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