Three in five young people have experienced a mental health problem, or are close to someone who has.'
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. Similarly, if someone experiences emotional or psychological problems they would also need to seek advice and support. They might have a discussion with their doctor about suitable medication and be recommended to make lifestyle changes to help look after their mental health.
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."
It's really important to help children and young people understand their emotions. This will help them to maintain wellbeing and to be aware of their mental health. Unfortunately, mental health problems in children and young people have increased in recent years. For detailed information and guidance on children & young people's mental health, take a look at Mind's Children and Young Peoples pages.
Mental Capacity: Your rights
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.
NHS Long Term Plan - Mental Health
The NHS published the Long Term Plan in January 2019. This document sets out the NHS priorities over the next 10 years and details how funding will be used in certain areas. Some of the key areas of work laid out in the Long Term Plan are learning disabilities, autism and mental health. The Long Term Plan sets out how mental health provision will be expanded over the next 10 years to reach more children, young people and adults experiencing mental health difficulties. You can see the mental health area of the Long Term Plan here.
New Mental Health support in schools: Trailblazers
In 2017, the Government issued the Green Paper on transforming children and young people's mental health. One of the main committments from the Green Paper was to improve awareness of mental health and access to support for children and young people. The 'Trailblazers' project has been introduced in schools. Locally, it will be delivered in partnership with both Central and West London Clinical Commissioning Groups and the charity Mind and will see new Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) trained and placed in schools where they will help to identify the signs of mental health difficulties and provide evidence-based interventions. The EMHPs will also be supported by an all new team of expert Wellbeing Facilitators, Family Support Workers and Psychologists working alongside them. The aim is to offer support to children and young people with early signs of mental health difficulties. See more information from the Westminster Local Offer here
Professionals working with children in schools may find the following links useful
- Mental Health and Wellbeing Provision in Schools (DfE)
- A Whole School Framework for emotional wellbeing and mental health
- Anna Freud Centre: Mental Health resources for schools and colleges
Please click the link below for local information and organisations who support children and young people.