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Author: Tim McDougall
Date: December 2011
Journal: Nursing Standard
Issue: Volume 26, Number 14
Keywords: Children and adolescents, mental health, psychological therapies, talking therapies
The emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people is of fundamental importance. Unmet mental health needs during childhood lead to difficulties in adolescence and problems in adulthood. The need to develop comprehensive prevention, early recognition and timely intervention services is essential. Despite this, many mental health problems go unnoticed or are only treated when advanced. Late intervention can often be associated with severe impairments for children and young people as well as their families. This article aims to improve nurses’ understanding of children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, and identifies some of the risk and protective factors that combine to produce positive or negative outcomes. Individual and family-based psychological treatments that are available to support children are summarised. The learning activities offer nurses helpful interpersonal and practical strategies to promote emotional wellbeing and mental health in children.
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