Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives. The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:
Being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors being part of a family that gets along well most of the time going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils taking part in local activities for young people
Other factors are also important, including feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves being hopeful and optimistic being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community feeling they have some control over their own life. Having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.
While we cannot always change children’s circumstances, we can teach them the skills to cope with the difficulties life throws at them. Help children grow up with prospects not problems