What does mental health mean?

Mental health is an individual’s cognitive, behavioural and emotional wellbeing (Mind, 2020). It’s something we all have – including every child and young person.

We use the term “mental health issues” to refer to mental health problems, conditions and mental illnesses. These issues may or may not be medically diagnosed.

Right now, young people are waiting too long for mental health support. The stress and delay can cause their mental health to get worse. Some don’t even make the list. They’re told their problems aren’t serious enough to get support.

This isn’t right. Young people need professional help. Before it’s too late.

children and young people with complex or additional needs may face a range of challenges including:

  • reduced mobility
  • prejudice, discrimination and bullying.

These challenges may lead to lower self-confidence, difficulty forming peer networks and social exclusion, putting them at higher risk of developing mental health issues (Falcounbrige, Hunt and Laffan, 2019).

Adults may confuse the signs of learning disabilities with the symptoms of mental health issues. This can mean concerns aren’t recognised and responded to quickly or appropriately.