"Child and adolescent mental health is slipping off the agenda," warned a lead mental health expert at Primary Care today. 

Deborah Bone, Clinical Lead and Service Manager, Step 2 Early Intervention Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service admitted she found this state of affairs "scary" and advised health professionals to help negate the situation by "pushing the agenda forward". 

One of the reasons she cited for this happening is the fact independent schools are not contracturally obliged to look after the mental health needs of children attending these schools.

Bone's talk focused on her brain box machine - an innovative prop she invented as part of a "mental health tool kit" to help children understand how their brain works to process their emotions.

With many teenagers experiencing exam stress at the moment her tips on coping with exam pressure were especially timely. Some of her revision tips include:

- Take lots of breaks. Research has shown that time frames between 30 to 45 mins are optimal sessions for peak concentration, Longer sessions and your mind wanders.

- Move into a different space and do something different during your break such as physical activity or meditation - this way you can return to your studies feeling refreshed.

- Listen to music, as this can help to improve your levels of concentration.

Posted by Penny Hosie