The congress will take place from 23-25 May 2019 at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg, and is centred on the theme ‘Sustaining Development: Investing in Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the 21st Century’.

The SA-ACAPAP will commit to a Charter for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at their soon-to-be-held congress in Illovo, Johannesburg.

20th Congress of the South African Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (SA-ACAPAP), will be held in collaboration with the Paediatric Neurology and Development Association of Southern Africa (PANDA-SA) and the South African Institute of Sensory Integration (SAISI) in association with the African Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (AACAMH) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPSYCH).

Recent population statistics release by Stats SA show that our population is growing. Currently the population under 15 years old sits at 29,5% of the nearly 58 million South Africans. This suggests that nearly a third of our population is developmentally vulnerable. With this vulnerability comes a potential risk to mental health.

We know that mental health difficulties contributes to 25% of the world’s levels of disability; that they are associated with school failure, problems with social integration and risks for perpetuation in adult mental health difficulties. Protection of child and adolescent mental health necessitates that the child or adolescent supported by a lattice of developmental input; be it psychological, sensory, physical, educational, social or medical. Yet it is perilously few children and adolescents who find themselves recognised and understood within this framework.

The mental health, and accompanying development of children and adolescents needs to be a priority, to be protected, and to be sustained, in order for there to be a real possibility of making the sustainable development goals (SDGs) a reality. Poverty alleviation, environmental preservation, gender equity and commitment to education, to name but a few, need at their core an adaptable, striving, mindful and resourceful “child force”.

It is incumbent upon us at the forefront of CAMHS to take up the mantle of ensuring the provision acceptable mental health care for children and adolescents in our country, and on the continent.

We, as SA-ACAPAP, PANDA-SA and SAISI, invite you to join us for this our 20th Biennial Congress; to learn from cutting edge academics, scientists and clinicians, to ask the seemingly unanswerable questions and to continue to take a pragmatic look at how we can implement best, evidence-based practice in a sustainable and ethical way. Here we intend to commit to a Charter for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and explore the development of our legacy as organisations in South Africa, the Continent and the Globe.

Venue: Wanderers Club, Illovo, Johannesburg
Time: 23-25 May 2019