Children’s mental health is a global concern and children are increasingly being diagnosed with mental health conditions. In England in 2017, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health reported that 10% of children are being diagnosed with a mental health condition.This is a figure that is similar across other countries in the UK. For example, 10% of children in Scotland are similarly affected by mental health conditions. A 2018 report by the Welsh Assembly stated that it is estimated that three children in every average-size classroom will have a mental health problem. In Northern Ireland, it has been stated that more than 20% of young people are suffering from 'significant mental health problems' by the time they reach age 18.
There are many other children who show signs that are associated with a mental health condition, such as anxiety and depression, but are not formally diagnosed. There are many factors that influence children’s enjoyment of their lives. Some are within each child, such as their personality and their level of resilience. Other factors that influence children’s mental health include where they live, who they live with and the relationships they have with others. In addition, there are global influences, such as the geographical location and political situation of a country, as well as health-related global events such as a pandemic. While the context of children’s lives undoubtedly contributes to their sense of wellbeing, this course highlights that there is much that can be done within society to improve children’s sense of wellbeing and prevent poor mental health.
Listen to Dr Jackie Musgrave, one of the authors of the course, describing more about the course content, which focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of babies and young children (aged 0–8 years), and its importance.
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Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the influences on mental health in young children age 0–5
- identify the factors that contribute to good mental health in children
- explore national and global influences on children's mental health
- develop knowledge about strategies and interventions to improve mental health in children
- examine how adults and society can support children's mental health and wellbeing.
First Published: 01/10/2020