Wellbeing & Mental Health - Parents
“Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Mental health is the way we think and feel. We all go through times when we feel worried, confused or down. Mental health problems are when difficulties get in the way of how we think or feel. This can mean that we find it hard to cope with family life, relationships, school or the wider world.
Growing up today seems to be more difficult than ever for children and young people. Evidence shows that mental health issues in children are increasing.
Poor mental health undermines educational attainment. Surveys suggest that disproportionately large numbers of pupils with conduct and emotional disorders fall behind in their overall educational attainment, missing school and/or being excluded.
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.
It is important that we are able to recognise possible mental health warning signs to be able to support children, young people and anyone displaying symptoms of feeling mentally unwell.
Mental Health Warning Signs
- Physical signs of harm that are repeated or appear non-accidental
- Changes in eating/sleeping habits
- Increased isolation from friends or family, becoming socially withdrawn
- Changes in activity and mood
- Lowering of academic achievement
- Talking or joking about self-harm or suicide
- Abusing drugs or alcohol
- Expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope
- Changes in clothing – e.g. long sleeves in warm weather
- Secretive behaviour
- Skipping PE or getting changed secretively
- Lateness to or absence from school
- Repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause
- An increase in lateness or absenteeism
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