Foundations in ICAMH 3: Youth Mental Health


This course is part of the series: Foundations of infant, child,youth and family / whānau mental health and AOD.

This course provides an overview of the theoretical concepts of infant, child and young people’s social, cognitive and emotional development including attachment. It also provides an overview of the factors impacting on childhood development and outlines common childhood and young person mental health and alcohol and other drug (AOD) concerns. It provides practical tips for working with infants, children, young people and whānau.

The course is aimed at workers in primary level, NGO and ICAMHS services to develop the skills and knowledge on infant, child and young person mental health and AOD concerns. It is designed to assist clinicians to meet the primary and core levels of Real Skills Plus Competency Framework.

There are four courses in the Foundations in ICAMH series. In each course you will learn about normal childhood development as well as common issues and problems related to each stage of a child’s life:

Each course is complete on its own, you may view each course individually and complete all or selected courses.

You can complete the module from start to finish or return to it by section. Some sections include links to videos, please click on these links as they provide valuable information.

Foundations in ICAMH 3: Youth Mental Health

This course provides an overview of: developmental milestones, developmentally appropriate practice and common mental health issues in adolescence (13 - 19 years).

Learning Objectives:

  • Define ‘youth’, ‘young person’ and ‘adolescent’.
  • Understand youth brain development.
  • Define several theoretical concepts associated with social, emotional and cognitive development of young people.
  • Describe the ways that professionals can best engage with young people when discussing mental health issues.
  • Identify ways in which professionals can ensure they provide youth-friendly services.
  • Summarise the main mental health challenges facing young people.
  • Understand common mental health and AOD disorders in young people.

As you work through the course any additional resources are listed at the bottom of many pages. These have been collated for your interest and are not mandatory readings.


At the end of this course you will find a short quiz designed to help consolidate your learning. After completion, hit the 'Submit' button to get your certificate for three hours of CME.


This content has been developed by Werry Workforce Whāraurau, a workforce development centre for infant, child and youth mental health, situated within Uniservices at the University of Auckland.
It was reviewed by Dr Carin Conaghan MBChB (Otago), FRANZCP in 2018.

The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU), an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health, one of the five Schools within the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.


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