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Mental health is just as important as physical health; like it is important to look after our bodies, it is equally important to look after our minds.

Mental health is something that we all have.

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as “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 can be viewed as a sliding scale. Some influences can send us towards poor mental health and others may send us towards a better state of mental health.


Children’s mental health is essential as, if children do not receive the help that they need, mental health problems can increase and stay with them into adulthood.

Glossary of Mental Health Terms

  • PSHE

Personal, Social, Health and Economic education.

  • Self-esteem

Self-esteem is how an individual feels about themselves

  • Resilience

The ability to recover quickly from difficult situations and being able to adapt to changes in life. Resilience is what makes some children and young people more able to cope with stress than others.

  • Well-being

The general health and happiness of a person. It’s made up of many factors. For children this may include being physically and mentally healthy, being able to learn and develop, being positive about themselves and their lives, having enough food, clothing and other things that matter, a healthy and positive home environment, being able to take part in education as well as other activities and look forward to the future

  • Mindfulness

Mind describes mindfulness as a technique used to make a special effort to notice what is happening in the current moment (in your mind, body and surroundings) without judging anything. Find out more about mindfulness here

  • TaMHS

Targeted Mental Health Services


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

  • ELSA

Emotional literacy support assistant

  • SEMH

Social, Emotional, Mental Health

Factors That Can Affect Mental Health

A person’s mental health can be affected by a wide range of factors. There is no ‘one size fits all’ as we are all individuals and different factors can affect an individual differently.

Potential risk factors (these are the things that are more likely to have a negative effect on a person’s mental health).

This is not a full and comprehensive list but these are some factors.

  • Feeling stressed or under pressure
  • Living in poverty
  • Bereavement
  • Debt
  • Social isolation
  • Experiencing abuse or neglect, or witnessing abuse or neglect
  • Trauma
  • Bullying or discrimination
  • Low self-esteem

Statistics show that if children do not get the help that they need in childhood, they are likely to continue to experience mental health issues into their adult life.

Some potential protective factors (these are the things that are more likely to have a positive effect on a person’s mental health):

  • Good nutrition
  • Good physical health
  • Exercise
  • Good coping skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Success and achievements in different areas of life
  • Good self-esteem
  • Strong, harmonious relationships within the family and strong family values
  • Affection
  • Understanding and listening being given
  • Positive school/ college/ work environment
  • Positive social groups
  • Sense of belonging

For more information about risk and protective factors, click here

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