'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.

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." 

Mental Capacity: Your rights 

For more information about your rights, please have a look at the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 

Supporting Mental Health in schools

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.


Professionals working with children in schools may find the following links useful: