“When she was unwell, my daughter didn’t know which way was up. She couldn’t make simple decisions.”
A child’s emotional wellbeing and mental health is often shaped by the environment in which they live and grow. Most children need a loving and caring environment to enable them to thrive.
Childhood is the most crucial stage for building social and emotional skills to cope with challenges in life. A child growing up in a supportive environment may have a greater chance to learn to express thoughts and feelings, and manage their behaviour. They may also be better able to form healthy relationships with others. Yet, some children who grow up in healthy environments can also develop mental health problems.
Trauma, neglect, forced removal or abandonment can have a major impact on a child's mental health throughout their life. Often mental health problems that arise in adolescence or adulthood are linked to negative experiences as a child. Families that have a child who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition may need support to understand, accept their child's needs, and help the child through it.
We have more information on supporting children, supporting family, and getting support for yourself if you are a carer. We also have resources further down this page.
A closer look
1 in 4 young Australians currently have a mental health condition
Support and acceptance of children with mental health problems is the first step towards recovery
Childhood trauma can last a lifetime
Secure attachment builds a healthy brain
Family interactions can help or hinder a child's development and behaviour
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.