Children’s mental health care in England

Children’s voices: a review of evidence on the subjective wellbeing of children with mental health needs in England | The Children’s Commissioner for England

This report summarises the published qualitative evidence on the subjective wellbeing of children with mental health needs and draws out key findings from the evidence, identifying important gaps.

The Commissioner has also published Briefing: children’s mental healthcare in England.  This briefing, sent to all MPs, sets out the Commissioner’s concerns around the lack of access to mental health support services for children.

Full report available here

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Young people’s views on gender, emotional well-being and mental health

This report presents young people’s views on how they cope with difficulties and seek help, with a focus on the role of gender | National Children’s Bureau

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Image source: NCB

Our surveys and face-to-face engagement with more than 100 young people generated some key findings:

  •  Some healthy ways of managing stress are widely acceptable to both male and female young people we surveyed: for example, having fun and exercising.
  •  Young people are very aware of expectations on boys and men to appear strong and not show emotion.
  •  Sharing problems with others seems more widely acceptable among the young women than young men, although not as clearly as common stereotypes might suggest.
  • Some girls and young women described feeling that their difficulties are belittled by adults when they try to seek support. They perceived assumptions that girls’ distress is due to overemotional reactions to minor issues with friendships and relationships. Some girls and young women expressed uncertainty about trusting female friends, although other females were an important source of support.
  • The few trans young people we heard from did feel that gender stereotypes affected how they cope and sought help, to different degrees and in different ways. Two commented on the need for greater professional understanding of gender identity.
  • The areas in which the young people most wanted to see greater gender-sensitivity were information about support available; support within settings like schools, youth clubs and youth offending institutions; and how professionals relate to young people

Read the full report here

Does Access to Green Space Impact the Mental Well-being of Children

An increasing body of research is showing associations between green space and overall health. Children are spending more time indoors while pediatric mental and behavioral health problems are increasing | Journal of Pediatric Nursing

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A systematic review of the literature was done to examine the association between access to green space and the mental well-being of children.

Twelve articles relating to green space and the mental well-being of children were reviewed. Three articles outside the date criteria were included as they are cited often in the literature as important early research on this topic.

Access to green space was associated with improved mental well-being, overall health and cognitive development of children. It promotes attention restoration, memory, competence, supportive social groups, self-discipline, moderates stress, improves behaviors and symptoms of ADHD and was even associated with higher standardized test scores.

Full reference: McCormick, R. (2017) Does Access to Green Space Impact the Mental Well-being of Children: A Systematic Review. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Published online: 4 September 2017

Against the Odds: putting young black men’s wellbeing first

How could young African Caribbean men’s resilience be improved? | Centre for Mental Health

Three Birmingham-based projects (the Up My Street programme) were commissioned by Mind to improve young black men’s resilience. Our evaluation sought to ascertain whether the programme was successful, and what elements were especially effective.

The evaluation was funded by Comic Relief and completed in partnership with peer researchers, to obtain an in-depth look at the challenges facing young African Caribbean men, and how their resilience can be enhanced in the face of these struggles.

The Up My Street projects reached out to young men with a range of relatable male role models and created culturally informed safe spaces. Young men had experiences of co-producing activities to strengthen their self-esteem, self-belief, personal development and skills.

Award scheme recognises schools building better mental health

An NCB survey in 2016 showed the rising number of pupils suffering from mental health issues – now NCB is developing a Wellbeing Award for Schools.

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From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and Optimus Education Ltd (part of Prospects Services Group), will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England.

This new award will recognise schools that embed a culture which values the happiness and emotional welfare of all its pupils. Both the Department for Education and Ofsted have supported this approach, stressing that promoting good mental health is the responsibility of all members of a school community: its staff and governors, parents and pupils, and partner organisations beyond the school gates.

The Wellbeing Award supports schools to create a culture in which mental health can thrive, helping them to:

  • Show the school’s commitment to promoting wellbeing as part of day-to-day school life
  • Develop a whole school strategy for improving the wellbeing of pupils
  • Attract and retain high-quality staff.

Full details available here

A curriculum for wellbeing

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The Department for Education has announced that schools will be trialling several mental health promotion programmes in schools, including mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and programmes teaching children about how to maintain good mental health. 

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s pledge to prioritise mental health. And it recognises the evidence of the critical role of schools and the high proportion of mental health problems that begin in childhood.

Read more at Centre for Mental Health

Full paper:
Children and young people’s mental health research and evaluation programme

 

Mental health – our attitudes and awareness

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hey__paul/12891036804/

Image source: Hey Paul Studios – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Understanding what works to keep us mentally healthy and support those experiencing mental health problems is fundamental to reducing health inequalities.

PHE have been working with the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to understand more about public attitudes to mental wellbeing and mental illness and commissioned a series of questions on attitudes to mental health as part of the latest British Social Attitudes survey. This blog goes through some of the findings.

Two distinct pictures of public attitude emerged from the findings. On one hand people are being positive and aware about mental wellbeing, but on the other, we are still seeing negative attitudes towards mental health problems, despite widespread prevalence.

Topics covered include:

  • Mental wellbeing
  • Stigma

Read the full blog post here