Guidance on children’s mental wellbeing

A new resource from Public Health England is designed to help local organisations measure the mental wellbeing of children and young peoples. It also recommends drawing on local resources to enhance wellbeing, including through creative, community and physical activities.

Measuring mental wellbeing in children and young people shows that raising levels of mental wellbeing influences a child’s ability to learn, their resilience to risky behaviours and their physical and mental health in adulthood. Half of all mental health problems emerge before the age of 14 and 1 in 10 children will have a clinically diagnosed mental health problem during their childhood.

Professor Brian Ferguson, Chief Economist and Head of Health Intelligence Networks at Public Health England said “We know that positive mental wellbeing has an enormous impact on children and young people and is an essential part of their ability to develop, flourish and lead rich fulfilling lives. But, in order to intervene effectively, local organisations need an accurate picture of the situation in their area. Our resource outlines the best means by which they can do this. Ultimately better data means better understanding and better decisions for policy and practice. Mental wellbeing is a measure of people’s emotions as well as their ability to function as individuals and as members of society, often defined as ‘feeling good and functioning well’. Mental wellbeing widely affects individuals, their quality of life and wider society - with research showing that high levels of mental wellbeing are associated with improved recovery from illness and reductions in premature mortality.”