This week, Professor Stephen Scott, an eminent British consultant psychiatrist, wrote an article to fellow psychologists and medics, which talks about the importance of paying attention to children’s general mental health, sooner in life, rather than later. “What is the point of being physically well if we are miserable and don’t have a good life?” he asks. He emphasises the critical importance of early intervention, pointing out that if mental health problems are addressed early, children are much more likely to lead fulfilling lives and have satisfying relationships later on.
He mentions a key and shocking statistic (repeatedly highlighted within Tooled Up resources) that 50% of adult mental health disorders begin before the age of 14, and 75 per cent before the age of 18.
He also draws attention to the fact that when we do tours of prospective schools for our children, we see the shiny classrooms and excellent facilities, but how can we measure the extent to which the school will take care of children’s wellbeing? The quality of mental health care that children receive in school matters, but school staff can struggle with the volume of need.
Typically, from every class of 30, five children will have a serious diagnosable mental disorder. Beyond assessments and diagnoses, which may take a great deal of time to complete, these pupils may require classroom support, family support and 1:1 pastoral care. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are badly stretched and children with early signs of mental ill health may not pass the alarming thresholds for behaviour that would warrant quick clinical intervention.
Tooling Parents Up
Professor Scott points out that recent trials have shown that empowering parents to use specific evidence-informed tips when helping to promote children’s mental health can have immediate benefits and lead to better school performance. He calls for resources that can help children to be happier and give them the chance to grow up as successful adults.
This need for early parental empowerment is met precisely by Tooled Up. We are proud that our growing digital library currently contains more than 65 resources which are focused on mental health and wellbeing, providing usable tips and practical advice, sourced from the highest quality research and experts. Through Tooled Up, parents and school staff can access enlightening podcasts with world-leaders from the field of child mental health, advice-packed videos on various aspects of wellbeing, simple and effective activities to do with children, and easy to apply tips that can help young people to thrive.
Professor Scott argues that “the key to a happy life begins in childhood”. He notes that, “if good things are put into you… you will probably do well later on”. Tooled Up is full of these “good things”, and, if dipped into and applied consistently, our resources will provide you with the confidence and ability to support your children’s emotional development, tooling them up psychologically for their journey into early adulthood and beyond.