ESCAP Practice Guidance on Autism

ESCAP with the ASD working party led by Joaquin Fuentes produce the first ESCAP practice guidance paper

ESCAP are proud to announce that Joaquin Fuentes, ESCAP autism field advisor, and his ASD working group have generated the first ESCAP practice guidance on autism paper.

ESCAP wants to be at the forefront of providing clear and practical information on mental health issues affecting children and adolescents across Europe. We want to support psychiatric professionals in their training, knowledge and clinical practice. Many good guidance papers exist for autism (NICE, AACAP, Autism Alliance to name a few), however, ESCAP are fully aware that European psychiatrists require more national clinical guidelines and practice guidance papers that can be adapted according to cultural and language differences. In an attempt to offer this to our ESCAP community, we aim to publish practice guidance papers on various disorders in the coming years.

Joaquin Fuentes explains exactly that in the aims for this practice guidance on autism paper, which was to “disseminate information that can be adopted for use in regular clinical practice across Europe. To present clinicians and educators with evidence-based advice on core and minimum standards for good practice in the assessment and treatment of citizens with autism of all ages. We, and I speak in plural, because I had the support of two splendid colleagues: Dr. Amaia Hervás, from Barcelona, and Dr. Patricia Howlin, from London, have fulfilled, as the ESCAP ASD Working Party, the mandate we received from the Board and have generated this fundamental document”. Joaquin offers more insight into the drives and ambitions of this project in a short interview.

ESCAP and the ASD working party hope that this document reaches all the clinicians and educators that can benefit from its guidance.

ESCAP Practice Guidance on Autism online version or Download pdf 

View the Joaquin Fuentes interview on the guidance paper or visit his YouTube interview

Access the paper in French and Spanish on Autism Europe

ESCAP president calls for more collaboration with national societies

ESCAP president, Professor Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, calls for all national societies to come together, collaborate and combine efforts during this pandemic. In a sincere letter to ESCAP members, he describes the national societies as "the backbone of ESCAP". He goes on to say "We [ESCAP] have clear goals of being the leading force in European child and adolescent psychiatry. Our aims will be accomplished only with close collaboration with national member societies to configure common European visions, values and initiatives".

As coronavirus is preventing meetings throughout the world, we are aware that member national conferences are being postponed to 2021. ESCAP would like to draw your attention to the upcoming 19th International Congress of ESCAP 2021, from 27 – 29 June 2021 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Theme of the conference is: 'Networks in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry'. We encourage all members to be part of the ESCAP congress, just as we want to support and actively participate in their meetings, thus we would like to prevent organizing national conferences with overlapping dates. Contact us to advertise your meetings on our site.



We have a dedicated page on dealing with COVID-19 aimed at the public and professionals, with a resource page, position statement, resources in various languages, a newly launched publication page and a president statement. Please visit the pages for more information and if you have anything to contribute or to discuss matters concerning child and adoelscent psychiatry in your country, contact our editor

We want to build up a connected community where we can share advice and guidance on dealing with mental health during this pandemic, both for the public and professional healthcare providers.



Enhancing mental health pre-service training with the mhGAP Intervention Guide: experiences and lessons learned

The WHO have recently launched the Mental Health Gap Action Planning Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) that aims to "outline principles and approaches for integrating the mhGAP-IG in the context of an academic institution’s unique teaching processes for future health professionals" specifically related to pre-service training, e.g. in universities, colleges and professional schools. It will enhance the pre-service curricula set up and provide future professionals with the theoretical and clinical knowledge. The WHO hopes that this will be incorporated in a country's mental health strategies and be a global approach at improving mental health training and services worldwide.
Go directly to the article, here

It is never too early to start planning your future congresses. ESCAP is pleased to announce that our next congress will take place in Maastricht, The Netherlands on 27-29th June 2021. The ESCAP 2021 Congress theme in Maastricht will be: ‘Networks in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’. The congress website is up and running and more information will be added over the coming year. Check it out
ESCAP 2019 Vienna congress post-presentation interviews
Check out the post-presentation interviews from the 2019 ESCAP Vienna congress
Dr Dickon Bevington about mentalization and the AMBIT program for child and adolescent psychiatrists and allied professionals. We asked, what should these professionals keep in mind when working with 'hard to reach' youth? View his video interview. 
Professor Franz Resch on his key messages on environmental risk factors, emotional adaptation and parent-child interactions View his video interview
Dr Lucia Valmaggia on virtual reality and its potential use in treating psychiatric disorders View her video interview
ESCAP first and second residential courses
The first ESCAP Research Academy residential course was held in Catania, Italy on 2-5th October. The course was a huge success consisting of 28 participants from 13 countries. As a result, the organisers are now launching the second residential course on the 'Assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents' in Catania, Italy on the 30th Sept to the 3rd Oct 2020. More information will be available soon, meanwhile, read the report from the first course here.   
  • ECAP October issue

    Parenting and care

    Processing speeds in childhood-onset psychiatric conditions, room for improvements!

    In this month’s editorial, the authors praise the work of Braaten et al. who address for the first time processing speed in a youth cohort of various neuropsychiatric conditions. The findings show that processing speed does correlate with specific cognitive functions of various childhood-onset psychiatric conditions, such as ADHD, ASD, psychotic disorders, and thus, impacts the daily life and long-term development of these individuals. However, the editorial authors (Rommelse, Luman & Kievit) raise concerns about the mechanisms of processing speeds, its general definition, the subtests used in its assessment and even the parameters and guidelines given to participants. They stress the fact that more needs to be done to understand the neural mechanisms involved in processing speed and the methodology that is used to assess it.

     View the complete issue.

  • Did you attend the meeting and want to recap on what happened? Or were you unable to attend but want to find out more? ESCAP have put together a small congress report to summarise the key events, lectures, and board meeting outcomes for everyone to appreciate.
    Click to read the Congress Report.