The Worrying State of Children’s Wellbeing

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The Worrying State of Children’s Wellbeing

How Evolve Health Mentors are supporting the emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children 

Children’s wellbeing has increasingly become a topic of discussion across the UK, and for good reason. The Good Childhood Report published by The Children’s Society concluded that there has been a decline in children’s wellbeing and happiness, with 10% of children aged 10 to 17 classed as having low wellbeing. Poor wellbeing can have serious implications in later life if children are not supported through these experiences.

The immediate impacts for children with poor wellbeing are educational. These children are more likely to miss school, which can influence their academic attainment. Poorer academic performance can reduce employment opportunities, but research also shows that educational attainment is related to health outcomes in future life. Similarly, low wellbeing has been linked to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. If left to develop, these conditions can become embedded and much more difficult to treat as an adult.

Vulnerable children, including those born into areas of high social deprivation, are even more likely to experience poor wellbeing. The recent report found that children with special educational needs and children with parents or carers struggling financially, were more likely to worry and develop poor wellbeing. Evolve’s mission is to address these inequalities and transform life trajectories. It does this by providing early intervention health mentoring programmes to support vulnerable children in schools across the UK. 

A key focus of these mentoring programmes is to improve emotional wellbeing. To measure changes in this domain, mentees complete the Wellbeing Compass survey prior to mentoring and at the end of each term. 

After just 12 weeks of mentoring, mentees improved their wellbeing ratings by up to 23%. 

These results indicated that mentees felt less lonely, were having more fun and experienced less boredom after working with the Health Mentor. This is in direct comparison to pupils with similar characteristics at the same schools who were unable to access the service due to capacity and financial constraints. The emotional wellbeing of children who did not receive any health mentoring support over the same period remained at the same level, demonstrating the impact of the intervention.

So how did Evolve mentoring programmes improve pupils’ emotional wellbeing?

Through individual and group mentoring sessions, Health Mentors provide children with the tools and techniques to effectively recognise, and manage their emotions. Children who can recognise their emotions feel more in control, and are better able to find a solution to them. Managing emotions is an equally important skill for children to learn, and therefore Health Mentors teach mentees a variety of ways to do so.

Mentees are taught a variety of ways to effectively manage their emotions. A key part of lessons is learning to reframe negative thoughts and develop a positive mindset, which will arm them for life’s future challenges. Furthermore, Health Mentors teach mentees practical interventions they can use independently. This includes relaxation techniques proven to reduce stress and exercises that stimulate positive endorphins. 

In just 12 weeks, Health Mentors have been able to improve mentees emotional wellbeing through both educational and practical interventions. Mentees have become more emotionally intelligent and are equipped with techniques needed to deal with life’s future challenges. 

If you would like to learn how Health Mentors could replicate these results in your school, contact us using

Read the full report by The Children’s Society here