HELPING CHILDREN WITH ANXIETY HONOURED WITH AWARD

Professor Mikael Thastum from the Anxiety Disorder Clinic for Children and Adolescents at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences at Aarhus BSS has just received the “Children’s Health Award” presented by the Danish Society of Children’s Health (Dansk Selskab for Børnesundhed).

2016.01.05 | Tine Bagger Christiansen

Professor Mikael Thastum. Photo: Thomas Jeppe Jensen

Mikael Thastum receives the award in recognition of his great work at the Anxiety Disorder Clinic for Children and Adolescents. The award comes with a grant of DKK 15,000.

“I’m very pleased and honoured to receive the award - it shows that our work is being noticed and appreciated, and this means a lot - also in relation to the continuous and very necessary work of ensuring treatment for children with anxiety,” says Professor Mikael Thastum.

A press release from the Danish Society of Children’s Health reads: 
Many children with anxiety and their families receive help at the clinic, and the clinic also works to ensure increased knowledge about anxiety and to develop and obtain documentation for methods of treatment. This knowledge will benefit many more children in the future.

The Anxiety Disorder Clinic for Children and Adolescents also contributes to educating the child psychologists of the future as students participate in both treatment and research activities. In addition, the clinic offers continuing education for municipal psychologists, who are thereby trained in applying the well-documented methods within their fields.

As much as 10 per cent of children suffer from anxiety, and for some this severely limits their everyday life and that of their families. Some children are scared of being separated from their parents, some worry excessively about diseases, accidents and other things, and some are unable to attend school or leisure activities because of their anxiety.

Public initiatives aimed at children with anxiety are scarce, and the clinic’s waiting lists are often long.

70-80 % of children treated at the Anxiety Disorder Clinic for Children and Adolescents proceed to function normally after the treatment. The Anxiety Disorder Clinic for Children and Adolescents is located at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, but is externally funded. 

Mikael Thastum was appointed professor in child health psychology at Aarhus University in 2013. Since graduating as a psychologist in 1983, he has worked with children in difficulties in various ways e.g. at a children’s advisory center, at the paediatric department at Aarhus University Hospital and in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.

After several years of clinical work, he returned to research in recognition of the great need for more knowledge and documentation for treatments in the field of child health psychology.

He now forms part of a centre promoting the well-being of children (Center for Børns Trivsel), which focuses on producing evidence-based knowledge of initiatives aimed at children.   

Facts
The “Children’s Health Award”, which totals DKK 15,000, is presented by the Danish Society for Children’s Health - a section of the Danish Society of Public Health. It is given to an individual or an organisation that has made a special contribution to children’s health.

The award was presented on 9 December at the Anxiety Disorder Clinic for Children and Adolescents at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University.

Aarhus BSS