• Nearly half of all mental health problems begin before the age of 14.
  • Certain risk factors present before 6 months of age can predict increasing levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms in the first 5 years of a child’s life.
  • It's estimated 1 in 7 school-age children has a mental health problem, like anxiety, depression and behaviour problems, but only 1 in 4 gets the help they need.
  • Education settings are well-placed to comprehensively support children’s mental health and wellbeing in close collaboration with families and the community.
  • KidsMatter sits under Australia’s National Mental Health Plan, which promotes a population-level approach to mental health and emphasises the need for cross-sector partnerships.
  • KidsMatter is evidence-based - it draws on national and international research, expert opinion, and experience in the field of children’s mental health and wellbeing, early childhood and education.(5)(6)
  •  KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and early childhood education and care services (preschools, kindergartens, and day care).
  •  KidsMatter has two initiatives – KidsMatter Primary and KidsMatter Early Childhood.
  • KidsMatter provides a wide range of resources that can help families, schools, early childhood education and care services, and health and community professionals support children’s mental health and wellbeing.
  •  KidsMatter Primary has been shown to make a significant difference to children’s mental health and ability to learn.
  • KidsMatter is funded by the Australian Government and backed by the expertise of the Australian Psychological Society, beyondblue, Early Childhood Australia and the Principals Australia Institute - it is a partnership between education and health sectors.

References

  1. Kessler, R., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K., & Walters, E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593 – 602.
  2. Côté, S.M., Boivin, M., Liu, X., Nagin, D.S., Zoccolillo, M., Tremblay, R.E. (2009). Depression and anxiety symptoms: Onset, developmental course and risk factors during early childhood. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(10),1201-1208.
  3. Sawyer, M. G., Arney, F. M., Baghurst, P. A., Clark, J. J., Graetz, B. W., Kosky, R. J., et al. (2001). The mental health of young people in Australia: Key findings from the child and adolescent component of the national survey of mental health and well-being. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35, 806-814.
  4. World Health Organization (WHO)(2006). What is the evidence on school health promotion in improving health of preventing disease and, specifically, what is the effectiveness of the health promoting schools approach? Geneva: Author.
  5. Slee, P.T., Lawson, M.J., Russell, A., Askell-Williams, H., Dix, K.L., Owens, L., Skrzypiec, G., & Spears, B. (2009). KidsMatter Primary Evaluation Final Report. Centre for Analysis of Educational Futures, Flinders University of South Australia.
  6. Dix, K.L., Slee, P.T., Lawson, M.J. & Keeves, J.P. (2011). Implementation quality of whole-school mental health promotion and students’ academic performance. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 17(1), 45-51.