Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach

By Mima Cattan; Sylvia Tilford | Go to book overview

4 Infancy and childhood (0–5 years
and 6–12 years)

Editors’ foreword

Sylvia Tilford

According to Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ‘health is the basis of a good quality of life and mental health is of overriding importance in this’ (United Nations 1989). This chapter will consider the important task of promoting mental health in the first phase of the lifespan. In addition to its importance for childhood itself clear associations have been demonstrated between mental health in childhood and adulthood (Rutter 1996). The division between this chapter and Chapter 5 is broadly in line with the age of transfer, in many countries, from primary to secondary education. Three special issues have been selected for this phase of the lifespan. The first is inequalities in child mental health, the second concerns childhood itself and the way that societal conceptions of children influence the development of mental health and the third is the promotion of mental health of children experiencing major life events.


Introduction

The chapter will begin with comment on the nature of children and childhood followed by discussion of the determinants of mental health and the identification of vulnerable populations. Children's perceptions of mental health will be noted prior to reviewing the evidence on the effectiveness of activities designed to promote mental health for the pre-school years (0–5 years) and the primary school years (5–12 years). The chapter will conclude with a consideration of policy measures to support the promotion of child mental health; some examples of good mental health promotion practice; and an assessment of the extent to which theory and principles inform current mental health promotion practice.


The nature of children and childhood

According to the Convention on the Rights of a Child (United Nations 1989) anyone under the age of 18 is described as a child. Many statements on childhood designate it as the period prior to achieving the maturity to take on adult responsibilities, although there is no consistency either within or between countries in denoting adult status for

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Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Mental Health Promotion - A Lifespan Approach iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures, Tables and Boxes vi
  • List of Contributors viii
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • List of Abbreviations xvi
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: What Is Mental Health? 8
  • 3: Mental Health Promotion 33
  • 4: Infancy and Childhood (0–5 Years and 6–12 Years) 64
  • 5: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood (12–17 Years and 18–24 Years) 100
  • 6: Adulthood 137
  • 7: Older People 176
  • 8: Concluding Comments and the Future of Mental Health Promotion 214
  • Appendix 1 226
  • Appendix 2 228
  • Appendix 3 230
  • Glossary 232
  • Index 236
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