There is increasing concern about the prevalence of depression and self-harm among children adolescents in many countries. Governments who commission and fund psychological interventions to address these difficulties want to know what is effective. The techniques available for synthesising gold standard evidence are increasingly sophisticated, but there are many criticisms of being completely reliant on this approach. A precautionary approach, where public policy decision-makers acknowledge that where the evidence is limited, the benefits of certain interventions are thought to outweigh the risks, including the risk of doing nothing. This later element may be particularly important in the domain of depression and self-harm, as both are associated with elevated risk of death by suicide.
© 2020 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.