Children and Adolescents Harmful Behaviors Conference

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The MIND team participated in the "Children and Adolescents’ Harmful Behaviors: Challenges and Safety Integrating Evidence-Based Treatments" conference held in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, IDRAAC, McLean Hospital – Harvard, the Lebanese Psychological Association and the Lebanese Psychiatric Society, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day and as part of the 24th Annual Congress of the St George Hospital University Medical Center on Thursday October 10, 2019 at 3:00pm at the Batlouni Auditorium  St Georges Hospital University Medical Center - Ashrafieh.
The conference hosted Dr. Blaise Aguirre & Dr. Rima Saad from McLean Hospital- Harvard  (which is well-known for excellent clinical and academic work) who discussed the latest evidence-based treatments for harmful behaviors in children, adolescents and young adults.

Dr. Rachad Rayess, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at MIND and the St George Hospital University Medical Center, gave a clinical perspective of “Understanding Ideation of Harm in Adolescents”.
In his presentation he explained that suicidal ideation is a complex and important topic for clinicians working in the mental health field.
It is critical to be able to understand the difference between acute and chronic suicidal ideation, to tell whether the adolescent is expressing active versus passive suicidal thoughts, and to differentiate suicidal from parasuicidal ideation.
He also stressed the importance of history taking, including prior history of suicidal ideation, substance use history and family history and described it as a vital part of assessing risk in order to plan clinical interventions where several steps can be taken to help reduce the risk of harm.


Caroline Cordahi Tabet, Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist at MIND and the St George Hospital University Medical Center, gave a presentation on  “Self-Harm and Bullying”.
She discussed the available data to understand the potential relationships between self-harm behaviors and bullying, in bullies, victims and/or bully-victims mentioning that bullies are at risk to cause serious harm to others, but also to themselves. The most complex cases seem to be the bully-victims, but the bullies themselves are at high risk as well.
She also stressed on the fact that mental health seems to remain the primary risk factor related to the severity of harm therefore it is important to assess it in any type of bullying. She also explained that IDRAAC is currently conducting a study on bullying in a sample of 313 outpatients (age 9-18) with mental health conditions.

Youmna Cassir Haddad, Child and Adolescent Psychologist at MIND and the St Georges Hospital University Medical Center gave a presentation on “Self-Harm and Autism Spectrum and Intellectual Disabilities”.
She addressed the association of self-injurious behaviors (SIB) with Autism spectrum and other intellectual disabilities. She explained that self-injurious behaviours (SIB) are among the concomitant symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and involve any kind of behaviour that have the potential to produce harm for the person doing the behavior.
The most common forms of SIB are self-biting, self-scratching, skin picking, self-punching and head banging. These behaviours are highly repetitive, and frequencies are up to dozens of instances per minute.
She also discussed the functional analysis and behavioral interventions strategies for SIB.


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