Understanding childrens mental health

Our mental health should be seen as equally important as our physical health. The two are inextricably linked and feed into each other. Whilst there is a lot of positive talk around mental health in society at the moment there is not much focus on what we can all do as individuals, and as communities, and crucially how first aid training can help. There is also a particular void in addressing the mental wellbeing of children and young people, when sadly the statistics show just how much it is needed.

“In 2020, one in six (16.0%) children aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from one in nine (10.8%) in 2017. The increase was evident in both boys and girls” * Source - NHS mental health of children and young people in england

Understanding what we mean by mental wellbeing is one of the cornerstones of our mental health first aid training courses. It’s about recognising the difference between healthy responses to the usual ebbs and flows of life, and how we might react differently in a mental health crisis, or when some more focussed resilience or other support might be needed. No one is immune from mental ill health. It could be short-term and acute, or more chronic and long-term, and it can manifest in many ways including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harm, sleeping problems and many more. It affects both boys and girls, and there are some risk factors which may exacerbate existing problems or be a determining factor, though, as previously stated, no one is immune.

Our mental health training is about equipping attendees (parents, carers, teachers and school support staff, nurseries, youth workers, sports coaches etc) with the tools to recognise the signs of mental ill health. We teach you how to spot the signs, how to talk to children about their mental ill health, how to actively listen without judgement or stigma, and how to assess when external help might be required for a child or young person. We also make sure you know who to refer the young person and their families to, if required.

Our accredited training in children’s mental health can make a positive difference to many children’s lives.

For details of all First Aid For All’s mental health courses please see mental health training

* A follow up report is due to be published on 30 September 2021 mental health of children and young people in england 2021 follow up



Published: 27/08/2021

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