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Mental health needs of child asylum seekers and refugees

November 2018 | Position statement 52

The RANZCP opposes immigration policies that are detrimental to the mental health of child asylum seekers and refugees.

Children of parents with mental illness

March 2016

Position statement 56

Evidence-based interventions and preventative steps can be taken to support parents with mental illness, reduce risks to children and enhance their resilience.

The mental health of parents can impact on the well-being and mental health of their children, however there are a number of evidence-based interventions and effective preventative steps that can be taken to support parents with mental illness to be the best parents they can be and facilitate their own recovery, as well as reduce risks to children and enhance their resilience. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is concerned that many of these supports are not being accessed due to stigma, lack of awareness and limited availability.

This position statement provides an outline of the factors at play when parents are affected by mental illness, and describes some of the evidence-based approaches that should be available to family and whānau members.

Child sexual abuse

March 22016

  • When child sexual abuse is suspected, the child’s protection is the primary concern and an urgent assessment must be undertaken. Child sexual abuse occurs within a family, social and cultural context, which must be fully assessed with a view to developing an appropriate management plan. The investigation into suspected childhood sexual abuse is the responsibility of child protective services. Psychiatrists, pediatricians and other professionals can have roles supporting the investigative process and supporting young people through this process. Protective issues and child safety must be addressed before effective treatment can commence.

  • Intervention by appropriately trained professionals is necessary to minimise the initial effects and long-term consequences of child sexual abuse. Appropriate services should be available for victims, family members and offenders. An effective response requires coordination between protective, legal and therapeutic systems. Failure to establish such coordination may result in further harm to the child.

  • Preventive strategies of child sex abuse should address broad cultural practices such as the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents for advertising purposes and the exposure of children to inappropriate sexual material.

The Antenatal & Postnatal Psychology Network is a professional collaboration of Psychologists who specialise in conception, pregnancy, the postnatal period, and the early parenting years. The Perinatal Psychiatry Network is a collaboration of specialist Perinatal Psychiatrists who practise independently in a number of locations around Melbourne and Victoria. 

The Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australia (CPPAA) is a professional body of Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists qualified to work with a range of developmental, behavioural and emotional problems.

UCSF Department of Pychiatry

In 2015, the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute hosted a special seminar with Sir Michael Rutter who, since 1966, was Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. He has been called "the father of child psychology". In this special seminar, Professor Rutter sits down with moderator Bennett Leventhal, MD, to talk about his own childhood, education, and career.

Produced by The School of Life

Child psychoanalysis has developed into a well-established technique for children and adolescents, with specialised approaches to working with younger individuals. When considering the history of this specialism, a few key figures come to mind. Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, and Anna Freud began work with adolescents and infants as young as three years of age.

The Dr Margaret Trust has developed a series of short videos to explain her unique approach to child psychotherapy and two of her most influencial tool, the Lowenfeld World Technique (using a sandtray and toys with the child) and the Lowenfeld Mosaic Test.

Peter Fonagy "Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis: The Need for a New Integration?". Presentation from Alumni Conference 'Twenty Years of Developmental Lines' at Anna Freud Centre, 

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