At the AGM on 18 September Professor Stephen Scott CBE stepped down as Chair of the ACAMH Board to take on the role of President. Stephen took over as Chair in 2015 and continued for five years.
The outgoing President, Professor Kathy Sylva, summed up his achievements: ‘Quite simply Stephen transformed the organisation. Stephen inherited a small academic, membership society that published two high quality journals and held two well-attended conferences each year. By working closely with the Board, the office staff and the Branches, Stephen turned a staid but well respected and scholarly organisation into a thriving, multi-professional organisation for evidence-based mental health.’
Stephen’s mission was to make the science in our journals “work” to improve both services and policy. He supported staff to create an exciting – and useful – website. He helped the organisation develop on-line training and support resources, aimed at informing the practice of mental health professionals from across a range of disciplines. Steeped in his own research at the Institute of Psychiatry on supporting families with challenging children, Stephen’s goal is to open up ACAMH resources to support parents as well as professionals; both groups need access to solid evidence on what works.
At his final Board meeting as Chair, Stephen was thanked for ‘putting research findings to work’. Over the last five years many research findings published in ACAMH’s journals have been translated for working professionals through podcasts, research digests, and the non-technical publication called ‘The Bridge’. Amazingly, Stephen accomplished this innovative work for ACAMH while carrying out ground-breaking research on children’s behaviour and effective ways to support parents to deal with it. ACAMH celebrates its outgoing Chair for his vision, energy and firm commitment improving children’s mental health. He is succeeded by Dr Gordana Milavić, who will write about her new vision in this same space. Be on the look-out for it!