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The Trimbos Institute is actively improving the health of people inside and outside of the Netherlands with education, guideline development, outreach, and research.

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Treating addiction and mental health problems within the family

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has convened a Learning Exchange Seminar on the themes of treatment and prevention of addiction and family mental health, during her first visit to The Netherlands.

Hosted by The British Ambassador, His Excellency Sir Geoffrey Adams, at the Residence in The Hague, the seminar brings together experts from the renowned Trimbos Institute, and representatives from two UK charities of which The Duchess is Patron, Action on Addiction and Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Professionals and experts from each of the three organisations will use the day to share best practice knowledge from across the Netherlands and the UK on subjects including implementing evidence-based interventions for addiction and mental health; learning from good joint agency working practice including working with the social care and youth justice systems; and ways to organise care across multiple generations within families.

The Duchess of Cambridge will join a roundtable on the theme of early intervention, focussed on how to protect children who are affected by parental addiction and mental health problems within the family.

Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families said: “Substance use disorder, perhaps more than any other mental disorder, impacts far beyond the individual with the problem and can destroy the life of many of those who are closely connected, particularly the family, parents, partners and dependent children. At the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families we are particularly concerned about the children growing up in such high risk environments.It is clear that we have much to learn about evidence-based care from colleagues in the Netherlands and Action on Addiction, and that we have valuable experience to contribute to this conversation, particularly in the area of treatment and prevention of addictions. I am delighted that the Duchess has opened this door for us to benefit from this preeminent international institution”.

Graham Beech, Chief Executive of Action on Addiction said: “We are very pleased to be taking part in this seminar and to have this opportunity to engage with organisations who share our passion for evidence based practice. We are grateful to The Duchess for continuing to shine a light on the cross cutting and often misunderstood subjects of mental health and addiction. And we look forward to applying lessons learnt from one another's experience for the benefit of the individuals and families we work with.”

Rutger Engels, President/CEO  of the Trimbos-institute: “Still too often children are overlooked when (one of their) parents has a mental disorder or addiction problem. We are very pleased that The Duchess uses her visit to the Netherlands to raise more awareness for the vulnerable position these children are in. Especially because we know they are at higher risk of developing mental or addiction problems themselves.  As Trimbos-institute we have several interventions for the children, but also for their parents. We hope that by sharing experiences and knowledge with our colleagues in the UK and the excellent institutions they represent, we can take prevention and treatment for this group to a higher level.“