Local clinical psychologist leads national interest group for young people’s mental health

by CWP News - 21 January 2016

Dr Fiona Pender, consultant clinical psychologist and clinical director at local mental health Trust CWP, has been chosen to jointly head up a special interest group that will ensure young people’s mental health remains a priority in parliament.

The group, led by mental health organisation Positive Practice Collaborative, is made up of a number of child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) specialists from across the country, and will come together regularly with MPs and decision makers to discuss national priorities and ways to improve the care young people with mental health difficulties receive.

Dr Pender, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) clinical director for Wirral CAMHS, has been chosen as the group’s joint national lead, alongside Michelle Trainer of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. The move to appoint Dr Pender has been commended by Luciana Berger, Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health and MP for Liverpool Wavertree.

Luciana said: “I welcome the news that the Positive Practice in Mental Health Collaborative has appointed a new lead for its CAMHS Special Interest Group.

“This group plays an important role in giving a voice to mental health professionals working on the ground, as well as providing a forum where positive practice can be shared. 

“I wish the group continued success under the leadership of an experienced and committed frontline clinician, Dr Fiona Pender from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.”

Dr Pender said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be co-leading such an important group. And it’s a real honour to represent the shared values of CAMHS colleagues nationally. We know that 50% of all chronic mental health difficulties are present before the age of 14, and 75% by 25. Clearly, the mental health and wellbeing of young people needs to be at the forefront of the wider health conversation. This is a great opportunity to ensure that we reinforce the importance of these messages to those that make decisions.”

The Positive Practice Collaborative consists of 75 member organisations, including NHS trusts, police forces, charities, commissioners and private sector companies. It aims to support improvements in the delivery of mental healthcare by ensuring that high quality and innovative practice is shared.

Angie Russell, co-director of the Positive Practice Collaborative, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Fiona as one of our national leads. The work that she and her team have carried out over recent years in the CAMHS field has been both innovative and inspiring. We feel very lucky to have her on board to co-lead our national work programme.”

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