More than one in 10 primary school children aged five to 10 has an identifiable mental health condition – that’s around three children in every class.

While rates of mental ill health do increase as children get older, early intervention is key to giving young people the best start in life.

Primary schools have a vital role to play in supporting children’s mental health – teaching them the skills they need to recognise and deal with their emotions, and helping those with difficulties get the support they need.

This section of the site will help you learn more about mental health, and get started on the path to becoming a mentally healthy school.

What's mental health?

We all have mental health. Your mental health affects how you feel, think and act. It refers to your emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Your mental health can change on a daily basis and over time, and can be affected by a range of factors.

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Social and emotional skills

Social and emotional skills are the skills that help children develop their resilience and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

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Getting started – school leaders

Children’s mental health and wellbeing should be a core thread running through all school activities, and should clearly link with whole-school priorities. School leaders need to be the driving force behind this.

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Getting started - teaching and support staff

Promoting good mental health and wellbeing in schools relies on every member of staff playing their part.

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How to start a conversation with children about mental health

Calmly and confidently opening up conversations in our schools can encourage children to understand that mental health is something we all have, and that we should be aware of it and learn skills to look after it.

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How to start a conversation with a parent/carer

How you start a conversation with a parent or carer will likely depend on the age of the children you teach.

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Neuroscience and brain development

Human brains go through significant changes during adolescence, which can often reflect in the behaviour of children.

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