Somerset’s Transformation plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing 2015-2020
In Somerset, we want all children and young people to enjoy good emotional wellbeing and mental health. Good mental health is characterised by a child or young person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including:
- The ability to learn
- The ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
- The ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
- The ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty
Many children and families will sail through, resilient to life’s knocks and challenges. There are other children who, at one stage or another, may need support, some a little, and others more.
When we understand that 50 per cent of the mental illness in adult life starts before the age of 15, we know that the right help at the right time can change whole lives. Prevention is better than cure. Early support and help, before a problem grows, is fundamental to transforming children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
There is an acceptance nationally that it is time for a change, supported by the availability of some new money to make the change, providing a golden opportunity to make things better for children. Here is Somerset’s response, a partnership plan to transform the mental health and wellbeing of Somerset’s children over the next few years.
All professionals working with children and young people have a responsibility to help them be emotionally and mentally healthy – whether it is a teacher in a primary school helping a child who is being bullied, a youth counsellor helping a young person who is depressed, or a social worker working with a child who has just been taken into care. Mental health is everyone’s business. We need interventions that are offered in ways that children, young people, parents and carers find acceptable, accessible and useful.