3 Recognising behavioural issues
There are many reasons for behavioural issues in children. In this topic we have chosen to focus on mental health issues as a cause of behaviour that might raise concerns.
One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems (DoH, 2013). Reports by organisations and charities working with children suggest these statistics have not changed significantly in the past 10 years. However, the importance of well-being and mental health is becoming much more recognised. So much so that the UK government appointed the first ever mental health champion for schools in 2015 to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma around young people’s mental health (DfE, 2015).
This focus on the well-being of children has produced a plethora of government reports on the topic. One of which, the Allen Report, Early Intervention: The Next Steps, quotes the Royal College of Psychiatrists as saying that:
Tackling mental health problems early in life will improve educational attainment, employment opportunities and physical health, and reduce the levels of substance misuse, self-harm and suicide, as well as family conflict and social deprivation. Overall, it will increase life expectancy, economic productivity, social functioning and quality of life. It will also have benefits across the generations.
2.7 Optional readings and resources
3.1 What do we mean by mental health?