Response to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt's announcement of a National Child Mental Health Strategy


Karitane congratulates the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt’s recent announcement of a National Child Mental Health Strategy. With research showing that half of all symptoms of mental illness begin before the age of 14, early intervention and prevention is critical for the long term well-being of children.


Karitane CEO Grainne O'Loughlin says "the first 2,000 days shapes a child's future. The relationships they develop in this time will become the foundation for their relationships in their lifetime. This is why we focus on early intervention and prevention with comprehensive Perinatal Infant Mental Health services and attachment-based programs for toddlers with behavioural problems like Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)."


The Karitane toddler clinic has been supporting families across NSW with PCIT since 2005. PCIT is a globally recognised empirically designed gold standard evidence based program that increases positive behaviours and reduces negative behaviours of children by strengthening the parent-child relationship and building parental capacity.


"PCIT results are impactful: with clinically significant reductions in the intensity of a child's problematic behaviour as measured on validated outcome tools; and parents  showing a clinically significant reduction In concern about their the child’s behaviour".


Karitane are recognised as world leaders in the development of the Under Two's PCIT - Toddler program due to be presented in Chicago at the PCIT International Conference later this month.


Karitane in partnership with the University of NSW was awarded the NSW Mental Health Innovation grant piloting Internet-PCIT, a program delivered via a telehealth platform directly into clients' homes. The exciting findings demonstrated positive and clinically effective impacts and the program commenced a full implementation across NSW in January 2019. 


The I-PCIT program is now readily scalable across Australia and delivers long lasting effects for children with disruptive behaviours. With a whole of family approach, Karitane and I-PCIT are aligned to the new National Child Mental Health Strategy and the principle that early intervention and prevention is the key.

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