It is widely recognised that a child’s emotional health and wellbeing influences their cognitive development and learning, as well as their physical, social and mental health, from birth to adulthood.
Excluding dementia over 50% of adult mental health problems start by the age of 14 and 75% by 18 (Future in Mind, 2013).
There are many factors and outcomes that are associated with poor emotional health and wellbeing. There are certain ‘risk factors’ that make some children and young people more likely to experience problems than other children, some of these factors include:
- having a long-term physical illness
- having a parent who has had mental health problems, problems with alcohol or has been in trouble with the law
- experiencing the death of someone close to them
- having parents who separate or divorce
- having been severely bullied or physically or sexually abused
- living in poverty or being homeless
- experiencing discrimination, perhaps because of their race, sexuality or religion
- acting as a carer for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities
- having long-standing educational difficulties
An early year’s setting, school or college which promotes positive emotional health and wellbeing will enable pupils to better understand and express their feelings. In turn this helps build and strengthen their confidence and resilience and improves their capacity to learn.
Put simply children and young people who are in settings that support their emotional wellbeing and health will do better!
Torbay Public Health Team has made Children and Young Peoples Emotional Health and Wellbeing a priority work area.
Approximately 19,700 children and young people under the age of 18 years old live in Torbay which is just under 15% of the total population in the area.
Whilst a small area, Torbay has significant social, economic and health issues. We have higher than average (and is some cases statistically significantly higher) levels of:
- Children living in poverty
- Young unpaid carers
- Marital break up
- Lone parent households
- Looked after children, children on child protection plans and children in need
- Children with SEND statements
- Children’s hospital admissions as a result of deliberate self harm
- Domestic abuse where children are present
For more statistics please see the Torbay Joint Strategic Needs Assessment resources.