“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, caring and stimulating environment to enable them to thrive. Yet, some children who grow up in positive environments can also develop mental health problems.
Childhood is the most important 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.
It's well known that 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 to be supported 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.