Mental health problems affect around one in six children. They include depression and anxiety.
Alarmingly, 75% of children and young people who experience mental health problems aren’t getting the help they need.
Children’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them.
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 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 well-being of all its pupils
- taking part in local activities.
Other factors are also important, including feeling loved, trusted, understood and safe.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago.
Depression affects more children and young people today than in the last few decades.
Self-harm is a very common problem among young people. Some people who experience intense emotional pain may try to deal with it by hurting themselves.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can cause young people to become extremely worried.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can follow physical or sexual abuse, witnessing something extremely frightening or traumatising and being the victim of violence or severe bullying.
Children who are consistently overactive, impulsive and have difficulty paying attention may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
If you feel you may suffer from any of the above mentioned mental health difficulties:
- Talk to someone about how you feel, such as a parent, friend or adult you trust.
- Visit your GP. They can answer any questions you have about how you’re feeling.
- Get in touch with services and organisations that help people with mental health problems