Measuring and acting to improve the mental wellbeing of children and young people

A guide to measuring the mental wellbeing of younger populations for public health commissioners - to support local joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs) and the commissioning of interventions to improve the mental wellbeing of local children and young people. The guide explains about mental wellbeing and its determinants. The technical appendix has measures to quantify mental wellbeing and its determinants, information on using the measures and links to examples of evidence based practice.

A new resource from Public Health England’s (PHE) Mental Health Intelligence Network highlights the importance of local organisations measuring and acting to improve the mental wellbeing of children and young people. Measuring mental wellbeing in children and young people shows that raising levels of mental wellbeing influences a child’s ability to learn, their resilience to risky behaviours and their physical and mental health in adulthood. This resource is aimed at those working within public health and related fields, to provide practical support to those wishing to support local JSNAs and the commissioning of interventions to improve the mental wellbeing of local children and young people.

PHE’s resource is designed to help local organisations decide how to best gauge the mental wellbeing of children and young people in their areas. It also helps to identify local opportunities to enhance wellbeing, including through community or physical activities, as well as factors that may have a negative impact, such as high crime rates and family breakdown. Mental wellbeing is a measure of people’s emotions as well as their ability to function as individuals and as members of society, often defined as ‘feeling good and functioning well’.

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