According to the World Health Organization, Emotional wellbeing has been defined as:
"A positive state of mind and body, feeling safe and able to cope, with a sense of connection with people, communities and the wider environment."
Emotional wellbeing among children has become a key public health challenge nationally and internationally in the early years of the 21st century. Half of those with lifetime mental health problems will first experience symptoms by the age of 14 and three-quarters before their mid-20s. One in ten young people aged between 5 and 16 years have a diagnosed mental disorder such as conduct disorders, anxiety or depression, but early help can improve outcomes
The combination of the damaging consequences of emotional disorders, which can interfere with social, emotional and cognitive functioning, together with the worrying prevalence rates in children and young people are certainly a cause for concern. Developing good emotional health in children is therefore an important objective which has been emphasised in recent governmental initiatives and policies; in particular, schools have been identified as having an important role in promoting positive mental health in children. National drivers push for schools to take action to embed a whole approach to promoting emotional health and wellbeing. National policies supporting this include:
- Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper
- Promoting Children and Young Peoples Emotional Health and Wellbeing
- Future in Mind
- Getting it right for children, young people and families - Maximising the school nursing team contribution to the public health of school-aged children
Building emotional resilience is an important approach to equipping children and young people with the skills they need to cope with adversity, solve problems, and to flourish in life academically and emotionally. Although schools are doing a lot to support pupils’ resilience, evidence shows that schools can further promote the resilience of their students. In Buckinghamshire, Public Health is committed to supporting schools through provision of funding to enable delivery of emotional resilience programmes in schools across Buckinghamshire.
Informational Resource for Bucks Schools - Promoting Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
The resource is an aide for primary and secondary schools to take a comprehensive approach to promoting good mental health and emotional wellbeing as well as supporting those who suffer from or are at risk of developing mental health problems. This resource pulls together all in one place, nationally available evidence around a whole school approach to promoting mental health wellbeing that is complemented with local information on current initiatives, resources and support agencies.
Examples of Anti-bullying and Child Protection policies
Make time 4 Mental Health programme
The Make Time 4 Mental Health campaign asks every secondary school in England to take students through the Make Time 4 Mental Health programme. The programme is made up of 4 simple, scripted 10 minute sessions to deliver in assembly or form time and is free to download.
Young Minds Tools and Toolkits
The Young Minds tools and toolkits are specifically designed to help professionals improve children and young people's mental health
Measuring and monitoring pupil wellbeing
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families are pleased to be able to offer 130 schools across England access to free support to measure pupil wellbeing for a three year period (2017-2020), including:
- Access to a secure, online survey – the Wellbeing Measurement Framework
- Support with the implementation/ process
- Analysis of survey responses from your school, benchmarked with schools from other areas
To find out more and express interest visit Schools in Mind
'You’re never too young to talk mental health'
Several new, free resources from the Anna Freud Centre have been launched including a new booklet entitled 'Supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools' aimed at schools and the voluntary sector.