GP Zone

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health - Children and Young People

Overview

Research has shown that emotional wellbeing and good mental health contributes to every aspect of a person's life. It is important in helping to strengthen families, improve educational attainment, promote social inclusion, tackle antisocial and offending behaviour, expand opportunities and improve general health and well-being.

There is now an indisputable wealth of evidence to show that interventions to improve emotional wellbeing and promote good mental health across the population will result in the following benefits for individuals, communities and populations;

  • reduced mental illness and suicide,
  • improved physical health and life expectancy,
  • better educational achievement,
  • reduced health risk behaviour such as smoking, alcohol and drug use,
  • improved employment rates and productivity,
  • reduced antisocial behaviour and criminality,
  • higher levels of social interaction and participation

Nearly a quarter (23%) of the total burden of disease in the UK is attributable to mental disorder. This compares to 16% for cardiovascular disease and 16% for cancer. For children, three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health disorder and an estimated one in 12 children deliberately harm themselves.

There is a strong case for investment in children and young people's services;

  • Half of all lifetime cases of diagnosable mental illness begin by age 14 and three-quarters of lifetime mental illness arises by mid-twenties
  • 60-70% of children and adolescents who experience clinically significant mental health problems have not been offered evidence-based interventions at the earliest opportunity.

Prevention and intervention in emotional wellbeing and mental health targeted at children and young people will result in greater benefits and savings than interventions at any other time in the life span.

Mental health and emotional and social well-being problems in children and young people are associated with a number of factors in relation to; the environment and community in which they live; their parenting and family life; and individual factors such as biology and genetics. 

The causes of poor mental health are extremely complex and physical, social, environmental and psychological causes all play their part. We know that problems are unevenly distributed across the population and that some individuals, groups and even communities have an increased likelihood of poor mental health than others. Understanding risk factors can help with targeting resources in numerous ways from prioritising groups to targeting settings for preventative work.

It is recognised that in order to promote mental health and prevent and alleviate mental health difficulties it is vital to help not only the child, but to help their parents, families, schools and communities in which they live, as they all contribute to a child's development and well-being.

Developing a joint strategy for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

A draft strategy has been developed built on past joint working and based on extensive needs assessment and consultation process in 2013, which included GPs and the Scrutiny committee report. 

A consultation on the strategy ran between 15 September and 15 October 2014.

The implementation of the strategy will be overseen by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Partnership Board, more information about the board is available here

Videos

The films below provide more information on CAMHS. To watch these videos, you will need to enter a password, which is ypc. 

What is CAMHS?

Breakthrough