Everyone working with children and young people has a role to play in supporting mental wellbeing. For those working in universal services such as Education and Health, this support will be part of their everyday work and is promoted with families and young children throughout the early years and into school.
Midwives, Health Visitors and other partners work with parents and carers to support the healthy development of babies and young children, by promoting strong early attachment through nurturing approaches, positive engagement and health adult-child interaction.
When children go to nursery and then school, learning in health and wellbeing ensures that they can develop the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need for mental wellbeing. This includes support for young people to make informed choices to promote their own wellbeing, and to establish a healthy lifestyle that can be sustained into adult life.
It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to:
- Provide help that is appropriate, proportionate and timely
- Where possible, involve the child or young person in decisions that affect them
- Keep the child or young person safe
- Recognise that what is going on in one part of a child or young person’s life can affect many other areas of their life and wellbeing
- Show empathy and understanding and work on building positive relationships
- Use a child or young person’s existing networks and support where possible
- Encourage the parent or child or young person to find coping strategies that work for them
- Ensure the child or young person feels values and celebrate diversity
- Provide and raise awareness of activities that nurture and support mental wellbeing
- Recognise that children, young people and their families need practitioners to work together to provide the best possible help
- Build on current strengths and ‘exceptions’ (times when things are going better for the child or young person)
Examples of Universal Support in Education