Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Wellbeing is defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and being able to manage stress. More generally, wellbeing is just feeling well. It's important to note that wellbeing doesn't simply mean being happy.
Children’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:
Other factors are also important, including feeling loved, trusted, understood and safe. Children who are optimistic, resilient, have some control over their lives and feel like they belong are more likely to have good mental wellbeing.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago.