Children's Mental Health Conference Tackles Tough Issues

Anorexia, sexual exploitation of girls, bullying and LGBTQ issues among other topics took center stage at a conference in Carmel Valley Saturday focusing on children’s mental health Saturday.

"This conference is the first of its kind,” conference organizer Jeffrey Rowe said. “It’s called the critical issues in child and adolescent mental health and its purpose is to present information that specialize knowledge for kids in populations we don't see that often, but when you do versus their very serious situations."

The goal is to educate psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals who work with children on issues that are less common but very serious.

"Today's conference has psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage and family therapists and administrators all together for the first time,” Rowe said.

UC San Diego's Walter Kaye was the presenter for eating disorders. He is a professor of psychiatry and director of the school’s eating disorder program.

"In fact there is a disorder that's more recently been described in younger children call ARFID, or avoiding restricted food intake disorder, which is kind of a picky eating but it can be very severe," Kaye told NBC 7.

"The first thing is awareness. Second thing is know what the resources are and the third thing is to actually speak with somebody who knows about those topics today,” Rowe explained.

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