Teenage boy

Good mental health and mental well-being is fundamental to the quality of life. It allows children to flourish. However, between 1974 and 1999 there have been significant increases in the number of children suffering from conduct, behavioural and emotional problems, which can be directly attributed to the issues highlighted in the report.

There is a general lack of understanding of the problem throughout society and a clear lack of resource to tackle the scale of the problem.

The failure to tackle early signs of behavioural and emotional problems and conduct disorders in children results in increased offending, drugs use and violence. 40% of those with conduct disorder at eight go on to have repeat convictions, while 90% of convicted adolescent offenders had shown conduct disorder.

In order to tackle these problems we need to look at a abroad spectrum of support, by valuing and loving children and making sure that children who experience mental health problems get help when they need it. If we fail to meet these needs, and if children’s behaviour worsens as a result of this failure, then we need to make sure that we support them at a later stage rather than condemn them. The vicious circle of fear and harm, that children experience, is in no small part, a result of our failure to identify the problems that children experience at the stage they first become apparent.