Emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people

One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 has a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems. A child or young person whose behaviour – whether it is disruptive, withdrawn, anxious, depressed or otherwise – may be related to an unmet mental health need. We can all play a role in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy

Where severe problems occur a child should receive support from medical professionals working in specialist EWHMS, voluntary organisations and local GPs.

It’s important that pupils and their family’s work with the school as fully as possible, enabling early intervention to strengthen resilience, before serious mental health problems occur.

It’s important for all to be aware of difficult events that may have an effect on pupils:

  • Loss or separation – resulting from death, parental separation, divorce, hospitalisation, loss of friendships (especially in adolescence), family conflict or breakdown that results in the child having to live elsewhere, being taken into care or adopted;
  • Life changes – such as the birth of a sibling, moving house or changing schools or during transition from primary to secondary school, or secondary school to sixth form; and
  • Traumatic events such as abuse, domestic violence, bullying, violence, accidents, injuries or natural disaster.

Good mental health, children who are mentally healthy have the ability to:

  • develop psychologically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually;
  • initiate, develop and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships;
  • use and enjoy solitude;
  • become aware of others and empathise with them;
  • develop a sense of right and wrong; and
  • resolve (face) problems and setbacks and learn from them

CLICK HERE to see the Main types of mental health needs in children and young people

CLICK HERE for links to some national support and information services offering assistance for child mental health issues

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