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Diagnosing childrens mental health and promoting their well-being requires a comprehensive approach that considers various factors. While a formal diagnosis should be made by qualified healthcare professionals, there are research-based findings and strategies to assess and promote children’s mental health and well- being. This article explores some of these findings and strategies, supported by references.

Assessment of Children’s Mental Health:

Screening Tools: Various screening tools and questionnaires have been developed to assess children’s mental health and identify potential concerns. Examples include the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (1, 2, 3).

Teacher and Parent Reports: Gathering information from teachers and parents about a child’s behavior, emotions, and social interactions can provide valuable insights into their mental health status. Research suggests that combining multiple perspectives enhances the accuracy of assessment (4).

Clinical Interviews: Direct interviews conducted by trained professionals allow for a more in-depth understanding of a child’s mental health. These interviews can help identify symptoms, evaluate functional impairment, and assess the child’s overall well-being (5).

Promoting Children’s Mental Health and Well-being:

Positive Parenting: Research highlights the importance of warm, supportive, and responsive parenting practices in promoting children’s mental health. Positive parenting strategies involve nurturing relationships, setting appropriate boundaries, and providing consistent discipline (6).

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs: SEL programs in schools aim to develop children’s social and emotional skills, including self-awareness, self- management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision- making. Research suggests that such programs can improve mental health outcomes and academic performance (7).

Physical Activity and Outdoor Play: Engaging in regular physical activity and outdoor play has been associated with better mental health outcomes in children.

Research indicates that physical activity can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve overall well-being (8).

School-based Mental Health Services: Integrating mental health services within schools can enhance access to care and support for children. Research suggests that school-based interventions, such as counseling services and mental health awareness programs, can improve mental health outcomes (9).

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Mindfulness-based interventions and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and guided imagery, have shown promise in improving children’s mental health outcomes. Research indicates that these practices can reduce stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms (10).

It is important to note that these strategies should be implemented in collaboration with healthcare professionals, educators, and parents to ensure their appropriateness and effectiveness in individual cases.


  • Goodman, R. (2001). Psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(11), 1337-1345.
  • Jellinek, M. S., Murphy, J. M., & Burns, B. J. (1986). Brief psychosocial screening in outpatient pediatric practice. Journal of Pediatrics, 109(2), 371-378.
  • Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms & Profiles. University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.
  • De Los Reyes, A., & Kazdin, A. E. (2005). Informant discrepancies in the assessment of childhood psychopathology: A critical review, theoretical framework, and recommendations for further study. Psychological Bulletin, 131(4), 483-509.
  • Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Lucas, C. P., Dulcan, M. K., Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Lucas, C. P., Dulcan, M. K., & Schwab-Stone, M. E. (2000). NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (NIMH DISC-IV): Description, differences from previous versions, and reliability of some common diagnoses. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39(1), 28-38.
  • Promoting Children’s Mental Health and Well-being:
  • Ginsburg, K. R. (2007). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds. Pediatrics, 119(1), 182- 191.
  • Payton, J., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., Schellinger, K. B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
  • Larson, R. W. (2000). Toward a psychology of positive youth development. American Psychologist, 55(1), 170-183.
  • Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Domitrovich, C. E., & Gullotta, T. P. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice. Guilford Publications.
  • Biddle, S. J., Ciaccioni, S., Thomas, G., Vergeer, I., & Deelen, I. (2019). Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: An updated review of reviews and an analysis of causality. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 42, 146- 155.
  • Whitley, J., Smith, J. D., & Vaillancourt, T. (2018). Promoting child and youth resilience through physical activity and sport: A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 196, 240-254.
  • Reinke, W. M., Stormont, M., Herman, K. C., Puri, R., & Goel, N. (2011). Supporting children’s mental health in schools: Teacher perceptions of needs, roles, and barriers. School Psychology Quarterly, 26(1), 1-13.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J., & Hanh, T. N. (2009). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. Random House.
  • Mendelson, T., Greenberg, M. T., Dariotis, J. K., Gould, L. F., Rhoades, B. L., & Leaf, P. J. (2010). Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness intervention for urban youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38(7), 985- 994.