One in 10 children and young people experience mental health difficulties.
We all need to maintain our mental health just as we do with our physical health. If someone breaks their arm or has any other physical problem, they would need to visit their GP and perhaps take medication to get better. Similarly, if someone experiences emotional or psychological problems they would also need to see a doctor or psychiatrist, take medication and/or make lifestyle changes to maintain their mental wellbeing. Mental health is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a person's condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” A mental illness is defined as "a condition which causes a serious disorder in a person's behaviour or thinking."
Common mental health disorders in children and young people may include:
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
'20% of children experience mental health issues in a given year – these issues are strongly associated with problems at school and later in adult life' Mental Health Foundation, 2005. The National Children's Bureau (NCB) has published the guide 'A whole school framework for emotional well being and mental health', which might be of interest to you if your child is experiencing emotional or/and mental health challenges. This tool signposts evidence from research and practice. It offers prompts for debate and activity bringing everyone together and building on existing practice, identifying new programmes and interventions, setting priorities and implementing and evaluating change.
For information on mental health services available in the local area (Westminster) please click here to visit the Local Offer website .
In addition, the following links also provide information on services available to children with mental health conditions:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – CAMHS (Central and North West London)
CAMHS specialise in mental health and wellbeing services provided by the NHS for children and adolescents with mental health difficulties.
People First is provided in association with the Adult Social Care teams of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster City Council. The website is an easy-to-use source of information, ideas and services to help maintain independence and well-being. The site is aimed at the older adult population, people living with disabilities of whatever kind, and those who look after others.
You can find more information here about children's mental health wellbeing and common problems.
For more information about your rights, please have a look at the Mental Capacity Act
Professionals working with children in schools may find the following links useful; Mental health and behaviour in schools : Departmental advice for school staff (March 2016) and A whole school framework for emotional well being and mental health