Worried Teen

“Half of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14, and three quarters by age 24”- Professor Ann John

Our multi-disciplinary research is transforming the understanding, care and outcomes of young people with poor mental health

Our work on young people’s mental health is developed in partnership with young people and our research rapidly translated into policy and practice including resources for schools and youth workers and guidance for practice.

With over £3million in funding over the last five years, we lead the Adolescent Mental Health Data Platform and the Data Science theme of the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health.

One study led by Professor Ann John highlighted the importance of integrated school-based and healthcare strategies to support young peoples’ engagement with education.

“Children with poor mental health, who are neurodiverse or who self-harm often struggle at school.  Absences and exclusions may provide a useful tool to identify those who require additional support.

Early intervention will not only reduce immediate distress and difficulties for the young person but may also interrupt poor life trajectories and improve outcomes in later life.”

Post-pandemic, education leaders have also been urged to prioritise social interaction for children of all ages following surveys led by researchers from the National Centre for Population Health & Wellbeing Research. Whilst they may have been seen as the ones least vulnerable to transmission and the negative health impacts of Covid-19, pandemic restrictions disrupted young people’s education, physical activity and opportunities to socialise.

Dr Michaela James, from the Centre, added: “It is important that education settings recognise the importance of the wellbeing of their students and prioritise their wants and needs rather than focussing on education ‘catch up’ and assessment pressure.”

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