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In the course of day-to-day living, most people—including children and young people—oscillate between mental health (feeling good) and transient stress or mental distress (feeling not so good); sometimes mental distress persists or life events are such that people are pushed further along the continuum into mental disorder or mental illness (i.e., feeling not so good as to warrant specialist help from formal psychiatric or mental health services). This entry explores mental health and mental ill-health in children and young people. Aspects considered include terminology, risk and protective factors, illness types, treatment approaches, and the various professionals involved.

Terminology

‘Insanity’ is a somewhat archaic term that is better conceptualised in contemporary childhood studies as a dynamic between mental health and mental ill-health. This dynamic can be construed as ...

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