Mental health and wellbeing

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Let’s get it right first time. Mental health disorders in children and young people are increasing. It is therefore important to recognise our communal responsibility to positively address their psychological development and wellbeing.

  • One in ten children and young people has a diagnosable mental disorder.
  • Many more have mental health problems, all of which can have a long-term impact.
  • A child with a physical illness is two to five times as likely to develop an emotional disorder.

The College is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Recognising the importance of the mental health agenda, we have a number of work streams focused on improving core skills for healthcare professionals.


View the RCPCH's consultation response (PDF, 487KB, 5 pages) to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into child and adolescent mental health services (March 2014) 

Children and Young People's Mental Health Statement (PDF, 205 KB, 2 pages) - collaborative statement to the Government to recognise the need to ensure that every child and young person receives high quality, timely and appropriate care from the outset (December 2010) 

Educational resources

MindEd - provides practical sessions when and wherever they’re needed, quickly building knowledge and confidence to identify an issue, act swiftly and improve outcomes for children and young people

Healthy Child Programme - an award-winning suite of e-learning materials for healthcare professionals made up of three distinct programmes, covering health promotion and common child health issues from infancy to adulthood

Guidelines and resources

MARSIPAN (Management of Really Sick Patients with Anorexia Nervosa) Checklist - a resource produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists   

Clinical guidelines relevant to child mental health - endorsed or supported by the College

Medicines for Children - an information resource for parents and carers, which includes leaflets about medicines used for paediatric mental health conditions


Guidance for Commisioners of Mental Health Services for Toung People making the Transition from Child and Adolescent to Adult Services (PDF, 643 KB, 20 pages) - a short collaborative publication working to ensure quality of mental health services at the point of transition (February 2012)

No Health without Mental Health (PDF, 705 KB, 103 pages) - Department of Health strategy that sets out six shared objectives to improve the mental health and well-being of the nation, and to improve outcomes for people with mental health problems through high quality services (February 2010)

I Think I Must Have Been Born Bad: Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health of Children and Young People in the Youth Justice System (PDF, 2.5 MB, 80 pages) - the Office of the Children’s Commissioner established and led a group of experts from non-Governmental agencies to observe and examine the provisions in place for supporting and promoting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in the youth justice system, and in particular those in detention.

Publications on eating disorders

Junior MARSIPAN (Management of Really Sick Patients with Anorexia Nervosa') report (RCPsych, 2012) - identifies the challenges faced by young people, families and clinicans when young people with eating disorders are admitted to adult medical units

Childhood Eating Disorders: British National Surveillance Study (PDF, 115KB, 7 pages) Nicholls, Lynn & Viner, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) 198, 295–301
Corrections - Childhood Eating Disorders: British National Surveillance Study (PDF, 265KB, 2 pages)

Ascertainment of Early Onset Eating Disorders: A Pilot for Developing a National Child Psychiatric Surveillance System (PDF, 212KB, 5 pages) Lynn, Viner & Nicholls, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal, (2012) 2, 109-112