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The mental health and wellbeing of Australian children is an important and legitimate concern of the government. Research has shown that many mental health problems among adults have their origins in childhood. A child in good mental health is more likely to have good prospects in later life, performing better in education, employment and the development of relationships.
Australian research indicates that between four per cent and 14 per cent of children aged from 18 months to three years have mental health problems such as anxiety, social withdrawal and high levels of aggression. These figures are similar to those reported for preschoolers and infants in international studies.
There is a solid body of evidence indicating that helping children build resilience leads to better mental health. In addition, if children with mental health difficulties are identified early and their condition managed, they will be less likely to have poor mental health outcomes as adults.