Act early on children’s mental health, says new report

Children's mental health

A new report on children and young people’s mental health recommends that any strategy to improve the mental wellbeing of the population as a whole should prioritise interventions at a young age.

The report, Young People’s Mental and Emotional Health: Trajectories and Drivers in Childhood and Adolescence, is published by the Education Policy Institute and the Prince’s Trust.

According to David Laws, executive chairman of the Education Policy Institute, the study aims to “track the prevalence of mental health issues through childhood and to seek to identify the underlying drivers of emotional and mental health problems.”

Although some of its focus relates to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last ten months, the study was conducted over two years using data from the Millennium Cohort Study.

It charts changes in young people’s mental health between childhood and adolescence and examines the main factors that adversely affect young people’s mental health. These include poverty, heavy use of social media, family arguments, bullying and lack of physical exercise.

In its section on policy recommendations, the report says the following:

As most lifelong mental health issues are seeded in adolescence and early adulthood, it is clear that any strategy to reduce the burden of mental ill-health for the population as a whole should prioritise interventions in this early period of life.

Young People’s Mental and Emotional Health: Trajectories and Drivers in Childhood and Adolescence, published by the Education Policy Institute and the Prince’s Trust

A curriculum strategy that addresses children’s mental health

The Forum for Life-Based Learning advocates a new approach to the curriculum for children aged 5 to 11. Life-based learning takes the issue of mental health seriously. A life-based curriculum will help children to grow up emotionally resilient. The Emotions is one of nine life themes, each with equal priority, that form of the framework of a life-based curriculum.

The Emotions

Find out more about the life-based learning Emotions theme

Urgent Priority

Read about why we urgently need to tackle this issue

EPI Report

Click to read and/or download the EPI’s report on mental health in full

Image at the head of this article by Jess Foami from Pixabay.

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