Public health 5-19 - mental health and wellbeing

According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is defined as "a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community."

It can affect our ability to learn, influence how we think and feel about ourselves and how we cope with differing events throughout our lives.

Children and young people can face many uncertainties, difficulties and problems whilst navigating their way through childhood. Helping them to build resilience (the ability to bounce back) is key to enabling them to thrive and achieve.  The information on this page aims to assist school staff to create a whole school approach to supporting pupils.

The latest survey published by NHS Digital in November 2018 found that:

  • One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017.
  • Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders.
  • Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19 year olds in 2017 (8.1%), of these anxiety disorders were more common than depressive disorders.
  • Non-heterosexual identity was associated with a mental disorder.
  • Self-esteem and mental wellbeing were higher in boys than girls.
  • Being bullied and bullying (including cyberbullying) others was more common in young people with a mental disorder.
  • Self-harm or suicide attempt was reported in one in four 11 to 16 year olds with a mental disorder.

You can access the full survey results published by NHS Digital here: Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017


Supporting gender-diverse and transgender children, teenagers and families.

Stonewall campaigns for the quality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across the UK. Further support for school, curriculum advice for teaching gender in schools.

GIRES is a UK wide organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of trans and gender non-conforming people of all ages, including those who are non-binary and non-gender.

Local Services

Transgender support and development, currently offers online, one to one, peer, and family support with housing and healthcare.

North Cumbria LGBT office they hold a weekly sexual health clinic and support for children up to the age of 19 years.

Offers counselling, family support, and training.

Online form to enable name change by deed poll for free.

Parent Support Group Drop in
Runs the last Saturday of every month at Harraby Campus, Carlisle 1-3pm.

Useful Documents

Document produced by PROUD and supported by Stonewall.

Pride Youth Network document.


The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals
By Stephanie Brill & Rachel Pepper
This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face when raising their children.

Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents
By Irwin Krieger
If you are the parent of a transgender teen, this book will help you understand what your child is feeling and experiencing.

The Boy Who Was Born a Girl: One Mother's Unconditional Love for Her Child
By John & Luisa Edwards
An account of a young man dealing with Gender Dysphoria and a mum's unconditional love.

Rainbow Street Series by Nick Rolfe
Peggy Clover: Some People Chose to Live Alone
I am Fred: The Girl Who Wanted to Be a Boy
The Dandelion Dormice: A Story of Cultural Acceptance
Basil and Sage: Does a Mother Need to be Female

Basic Mental Health Training Resources

Basic mental health awareness training PowerPoint (Please email your PH nurse for this PowerPoint)

Nail it poster (PDF 121K)

Balance wheel (PDF 246K)

Stress bucket (PDF 505K)

Young person mental health discussion form (PDF 253K)

Self help leaflet (PDF 510K)

Resilience Training Resources

Building resilience training PowerPoint (Please email your PH nurse for this PowerPoint)

PH5-19 Happy wheel activity (PDF 219K)

PH5-19 Glitter jar act activity (PDF 201K)

PH5-19 Mindfulness exercises (PDF 203K)

PH5-19 Happy box activity (PDF 188K)

PH5-19 Five stage problem solving activity (PDF 414K)

PH5-19 Resilience tips for parents/carers primary (PDF 183K)

PH5-19 Resilience tips for parents/carers secondary (PDF 108K)

Anxiety Training Resources

The anxious child training PowerPoint (Please email your PH nurse for this PowerPoint)

PH5-19 The worry toolkit contents (PDF 69K)

PH5-19 All about me activity (PDF 40K)

PH5-19 What is worry? activity (PDF 531K)

PH5-19 How I feel worry activity (PDF 51K)

PH5-19 The calm down kit (PDF 24K)

PH5-19 Relaxation card description (PDF 80k)

PH5-19 Relaxation cards picture version (PDF 24k)

PH5-19 Relaxation cards 1 (PDF 12K)

PH5-19 Relaxation cards 2 (PDF 12K)

PH5-19 Strength cards activity (PDF 66K)

PH5-19 Breathing star activity (PDF 155K)

Chill Skills Training Resources

Chill Skills PowerPoint (Please email your PH nurse for this PowerPoint)

PH 5-19 tips for creating a chill out zone (PDF 284K)

PH 5-19 Chills skills activites (PDF 282K)

Chill zone rules poster (PDF 177K)

Big emotion cards (PDF 4,367K)

PH 5-19 Breathing Star (PDF 155K)

Calm down take 5 (PDF 2634K)

Calm down brain break breathing exercise cards (PDF 540K)

PH 5-19 Mindful glitter jar (PDF 423K)

PH 5-19 Ninja stress balls (PDF 444K)

PH 5-19 Playdough (PDF 482K)

Yoga for kids body shape cards (PDF 370K)

PH 5-19 Family mindfulness (PDF 422K)

Eating Issues Training Resources

PH 5-19 Eating Issues Powerpoint (Please email your PH nurse for this PowerPoint)

PH 5-19 Service Healthy Weight Pathway (PDF 408K)

PH 5-19 Service Eating Issues Pathway (PDF 613K)

Beat eating issues poster (PDF 361K)

Beat Gp appointment leaflet (PDF 775K)

Beat carer/friend leaflet (PDF 557K)

Young Minds eating problems parent leaflet (PDF 3953K)

Young Minds eating problems young person leaflet (PDF 3458K)

NICE guidlines for eating disorders (PDF 208K)

NICE guidlines for lifestyle changes for children and ypung poeple who are over weight (PDF 211K)

Slimming World young person membership information (PDF 101K)

Weight Watchers young person membership information (PDF 100K)

Parent Resources

PH5-19 Behaviour parent/care leaflet (PDF 173K)

PH5-19 Emotional health parent/carer leaflet (PDF 179k)

PH5-19 Parenting leaflet (176K)

PH5-19 Sleep parent/carer leaflet (PDF 169K)

PH5-19 Young carer parent/carer leaflet (PDF 191K)

PH 5-19 Family mindfulness (PDF 422K)

As part of the Government's 'Future in Mind' Improvement Programme for children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health services, since 2015 every area is required to have a publicly available Local Transformation Plan and to refresh it annually.

The Cumbria Children and Young People's Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Transformation Plan sets out the key priorities and also the action plan to improve services and outcomes for children, young people and their families across Cumbria. 

The plan can be found here

The 'easy read' version here

To watch two short films made about the plan, one by young people and one by Commissioners of services click here

PSHE Association's guidance and lesson plans 
Guidance on preparing to teach mental health and emotional wellbeing: includes guidance and lesson plans KS1-4.

Samaritans Developing Emotional Awareness and listening teaching resource 
KS4 free teaching resource aimed at students aged 14 and over and inclusive of all abilities and learning styles. DEAL is a free resource for teachers and other educational professionals designed to help develop resilience in young people. Lesson plans, activities, hand-outs, DEAL digital resources, teachers' notes and staff training materials which can all be accessed and downloaded at any time.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust 
Free mental health and emotional wellbeing resources.

Free educational resource and training on over 300 topics and is aimed at anyone working regularly with children or young people. there is also E-learning for professionals, online support for families and information from trusted sources.

Public Health England Resources
PSHE curriculum topics for KS3/4 pupils, with flexible lesson plans. Topics include bullying, cyberbullying, smoking, online stress, alcohol and exam stress.

Rise Above UK 
Rise Above aimed at young people to get them talking about things that matter to them. Uses inspiring and useful stories, videos, games and advice.

Selfharm UK
Self Harm UK supports young people impacted by self-harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask any questions and be honest. It also supports parents, carers and professionals involved with young people.

Self Injury Support UK 
Information to support those who self harm and mental health through providing resources and training includes lessons plans and teaching resources.

Time to Change Resources to Challenge Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination
Resources for the whole community to improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, to help challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.

You Just Don't Get It
Role play-Looks at the effects of social media on young people and how adults can be more understanding.

Best/Worst Mates in the World 
Explores how relationships are different online in comparison to face to face, including how it's easier to be derogatory online and misinterpret what someone has to say, as well as being unable to see the different effect this has on another person.

A Series of short animations could be used as part of a presentation
Emotional Wellbeing 1  'you are more important that you think' 

Emotional Wellbeing 2 ' why fit in when you are born to stand out' 

Emotional Wellbeing 3 'if the plan didn't work, then the alphabet has 25 more letters' 

No Harm Done - film for young people  
Explores speaking out about self-harm from a young person's view who self harm.

No Harm Done - film for professionals  
For staff working with young people, explores how to recognise and respond to young people who self-harm.

No Harm Done - film for parents
Looks at how parents respond to their child self-harming and the views of the young person and their responses.

Stand Up Kid - Time to Change Video 
Aimed at understanding and reducing the stigma of mental health.

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