It is both an honour and privilege to be welcoming to the city of Manchester the community of child and adolescent forensic professionals from across Europe.
I am looking forward to an exciting programme covering all aspects of assessment and treatment of those young people with mental health problems who are in contact with or at risk of being in contact with the Youth Justice system.
We all know only too well that half of all lifetime mental disorders have their onset before the age of 14. We also know that health inequalities and the social determinants of health are as Marmot said “Not a footnote to the determinants of health. They are the main issues”. Nowhere is this more true than in the disrupted lives of young offenders who have innate vulnerabilities and have so often themselves experienced cumulative adverse life events.
The north west of England has a long history of doing pioneering work in the field of public health mental health and in the development of services for young offenders both across health services and the voluntary sector. Manchester is the birthplace of Emeline Pankhurst the leader of the suffragettes and the birthplace of the trade union movement.
So a very warm welcome to this vibrant city with a big social ethos. Enjoy the educational learning, being with colleagues with shared interest and please enjoy the social events. I am greatly indebted to the organising committee who have worked energetically to bring together a strong academic programme but one where research is always for the benefit of the young people and the families we serve.
I am also very grateful to the Centre for Advanced Learning and Conferences (CALC), Royal College of Psychiatrists for their help in organising the conference.
Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Royal College of Psychiatrists