Health and Wellbeing
The World Health Organization defines Emotional wellbeing as:
"A positive state of mind and body, feeling safe and able to cope, with a sense of connection with people, communities and the wider environment."
According to the Mental Health Foundation "The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good emotional and mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults."
Children and young people experience emotions, feelings or moods every day; these are to be expected however some children and young people will go through significant changes in their lives that can affect them both physically and mentally. For children and young people with additional needs and disabilities sometimes they need help more often, or sometimes they don't understand that they need help at all. This can be really challenging for their families and carers.
Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
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
- being able to play indoors and outdoors
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
- being able to recognise what they are good at
- having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
- feeling they have some control over their own life
- having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems
In order for you to best support your child you need to also take care of your own emotional wellbeing so do make time for yourself and seek someone to speak to if you need support.
If you are worried about your child's emotional wellbeing speak to someone who may be able to help or can find you someone who can help; this could be a teacher, The SENCO, the school nurse, a school counsellor or an educational psychologist. Otherwise, go to your GP or speak to a health visitor. These professionals are able to refer a child to further help.
See the documents below for National and local contacts who will be able to give you advice, support and resources to help.
Sources of information for parents and carers in supporting the wellbeing of their child (PDF,127KB)
Sources of support and information for parents and carers of children with SEND (PDF,158KB)
Sources of support for the wellbeing of children and young people (PDF,154KB)