Interview with Dr Max Davie, Consultant Paediatrician, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust & ACAMH Board Member.
How did you get involved with ACAMH?
I joined ACAMH because of the multi-professional approach, great conferences and access to journals – for the price it’s a steal, in my view. I love meeting with enthusiastic members at ACAMH event and putting the world to rights! I do various things for RCPCH in mental health policy and education, so I was pleased to be approached to join the ACAMH board!
Why should a paediatrician join ACAMH?
Lots of paediatricians are interested in mental health and we have the Paediatric Mental Health Association, but for access to the best evidence, and the feeling of being part of a bigger mental health world, then I would always recommend that people join ACAMH as well.
Is there a specific mental health issue that you have seen an increase in?
Paediatricians generally are coping with a massive increase in mental health problems on their wards: mainly these are young people who have self harmed, or young people with eating disorders, but it is also increasingly clear that the best approach to chronic pain syndromes or unexplained symptoms is one incorporating insights from mental health. So as well as increasing numbers, there is increasing awareness and a need for training.
Do you find it common that siblings have similar mental health issues?
The main mental health issues I deal with personally are ASD and ADHD. I think the siblings are fascinating because they often have difficulties, in part because they have a diluted version of the ‘index child’s developmental profile, but also because of the impact of that child’s behaviour, and the amount of parental energy that has been diverted away from the siblings, leading to really complex family dynamics and feelings. Sometimes you feel like an under-qualified family therapist!