Mental health and wellbeing in children
Wellbeing is measured in our children and young people using a health-related behaviour survey. In 2016, 61% of secondary school pupils reported they are, in general, 'quite a lot' or 'a lot' satisfied with their life at the moment.
What is wellbeing and why is it important?
Wellbeing's a broad concept, often understood to include aspects of satisfaction with life and positive mental health as well as other factors. It's defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as 'the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy'. Children's wellbeing is an important issue and can be a direct indicator of young people's health as it reflects what's important to children and young people.
Lower levels of wellbeing amongst young people are linked with bullying and disruptive behaviours at school whilst higher levels of life satisfaction have been linked to healthier levels of physical activity, screen time, nutrition, and mental health (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2017).
Mental health in children and young people
Mental health problems affect around 1 in 10 children and young people. They include conditions such as depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what's happening in their lives. The outcome wanted for the borough's school children is that when they are 16 they are mentally and physically healthy and good wellbeing will play a crucial role in achieving both aspects of this.
Statistics on mental health and wellbeing in young people
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Children and young people's mental health and wellbeing profiling tool - this tool presents data on need, protective factors for positive mental health and wellbeing, primary prevention and spending on children's education and social care services, describing the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
- Measuring National Wellbeing (MNW) - Quality of Life in the UK - the MNW programme was established with the aim to monitor and report "how the UK is doing" by producing accepted and trusted measures of the well-being of the nation. It features regional level indicators covering areas of our lives including our health, natural environment, personal finances and crime.
Guidance on mental health and wellbeing in young people
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Improving the mental health of children and young people - this guidance has been produced by Public Health England (PHE) in order to support commissioners in improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance - Mental health and wellbeing - NICE has produced a number of documents on mental health and wellbeing in young people including guidance on social and emotional wellbeing in young people and in school settings and attachment difficulties in children.