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Children's and young people's mental wellbeing

Childhood has a profound effect on our adult lives. Many mental health conditions in adulthood show their first signs in childhood and, if left untreated, can develop into conditions which need regular care. Good 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.

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
  • having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
  • being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
  • going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
  • taking part in local activities for young people

Other factors are also important, including

  • feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
  • being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
  • being hopeful and optimistic
  • being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
  • accepting who they are and recognising 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