Supporting our children’s mental health

According to the latest statistics, 11.2% of schoolchildren in the UK have a diagnosable mental health condition and this figure is growing year-on-year. Around 75% of these are not receiving treatment and three quarters of all mental health issues are established by the time someone is 18 years old.

It is therefore vitally important that parents, carers, other involved adults and the children themselves are able to find appropriate support and strategies.

Children’s mental health can be affected by a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) long-term illness, a parent with mental health problems, death, divorce or separation, bullying and abuse, poverty and educational difficulties.

Supporting our children's mental health

And mental health issues can manifest in a variety of ways – including anxiety, depression, anger/violence, self-harm, PTSD, ADHD and eating disorders.

What can we do to help?

Strategies to help prevent mental health issues and to support those already struggling include the following:

  • Physical exercise – staying fit and healthy and taking part in activities that they enjoy
  • A healthy balanced diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruit
  • Supplementation to support diet – supplements that have been shown to support mental health include zinc, magnesium, omega 3, vitamin D3 and probiotics
  • Herbs such as lavender, lemon balm and chamomile can also help to support relaxation
  • Allowing time for children to play both indoors and outdoors
  • Taking time away from electronic devices
  • Feeling loved and safe
  • Learning resilience and having some control over their life
  • Feeling able to communicate openly about their feelings and believing that they have somebody to talk to