[PDF] Learning to trust and trusting to learn : how schools can affect children's mental health

Institute for Public Policy Research
Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
Publication date:
30 June 2001


This paper considers the ways in which schools can nurture the mental health and resilience of all children, not just those whose behaviour might suggest an underlying unhappiness. While it is true that children spend only 15 per cent of their waking hours in school, their experiences there can have a critical impact on their developing sense of self. The current government acknowledges the importance of mental health in terms of people's happiness, well-being, the productivity of the population as a whole, and that of future generations through family experiences. However, this paper argues that it has only recently begun to consider children's mental health as a serious policy issue. It has yet to address the need for a systematic review of public policy to promote emotional health and resilience among children.