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Safeguarding, child protection and mental health
  1. David Hall1,
  2. Jonathan Williams2
  1. 1
    Community Paediatrics, Institute of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
  1. Professor David Hall, Storrs House Farm, Storrs Lane, Stannington, Sheffield S6 6GY, UK; d.hall{at}


The term “safeguarding” is widely used but its meaning and its relationship to child protection have not been precisely defined. It is a more inclusive concept than child protection and emphasises not only the diagnosis and management of child abuse as conventionally understood but also the importance of recognising children in distress and intervening where possible to prevent a range of adverse outcomes. Achieving these goals will depend in part on greater awareness and more extensive training in psychosocial issues and the mental health of children and young people, and their parents.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • As David Hall is currently in South Africa, please use e-mail for correspondence.

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