Treating addiction and mental health problems within the family

17th October 2016 By: Anastasia Bow-Bertrand

Last Tuesday, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, convened a Learning Exchange Seminar on the themes of treatment and prevention of addiction and family mental health, during her first visit to The Netherlands.

The seminar brought together experts from the renowned Trimbos Institute, our Chief Executive Officer, Peter Fonagy, and Director of Clinical Services, Dr Peter Fuggle, on behalf of Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, and representatives from UK charity, Action on Addiction.

Professionals and experts from each of the three organisations used the day to share best practice knowledge from across the Netherlands and the UK on subjects including implementing evidence-based interventions for addiction and mental health; learning from good joint agency working practice including working with the social care and youth justice systems; and ways to organise care across multiple generations within families.

The Duchess of Cambridge joined a roundtable on the theme of early intervention, focussed on how to protect children who are affected by parental addiction and mental health problems within the family.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge greets representatives from Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Credit: Gary Johnson

Peter Fonagy said:

“Substance use disorder, perhaps more than any other mental disorder, impacts far beyond the individual with the problem and can destroy the life of many of those who are closely connected, particularly the family, parents, partners and dependent children. At the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families we are particularly concerned about the children growing up in such high risk environments.”

Following the discussion, he also commented that it was a “brilliant idea […] bringing institutions together that have similar interests” and commended Her Royal Highness for facilitating this.

Photo credits: Gary Johnson

 

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