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Mental health in childhood and education research

Explore our work in mental health in childhood and education, one of our areas of research expertise in Education

Our research in the area of mental health in childhood and education is shedding a light on the issue of mental health and mental illness in young people. The work we're doing is helping eradicate the stigma, bias, labels and misconceptions around mental illness, and shaping the policies and practices being used to help vulnerable children. 

We're paying particular attention to children and families who consistently miss out on mental health and safeguarding support, and through our research, provide valuable insights into the historical and contemporary factors that result in unequal and uneven practices.

Children’s voices have often been absent from discussions around mental health and wellbeing, and our research is addressing this shortfall by drawing on the perspectives of children.

Our research is also making impact on current practices with vulnerable young people, such as young care leavers and children in residential care – specifically regarding the importance of 'staying in touch', both during their care and after it.

Thanks to our findings, charities and institutions – such as Kibble Care and Education Centre in Scotland, and the Roberts Centre, Portsmouth – have benefited from our work, while Portsmouth City Council has used our research to shape the direction of their Early Support work.

Our research on care leavers has also highlighted the importance of hearing from young people to establish what worked well during their care, and what could be improved.

Our research covers the following key topics

  • History of mental health in childhood
  • Children in care, care leavers and mental health and wellbeing
  • Early intervention/prevention
  • Parenting and wellbeing
  • Bereavement
  • Displaced children and wellbeing of child refugees
  • Mental health problems and related perceptions
  • Bullying and wellbeing

Funders and publications

Our work is frequently funded by major organisations – such as the Wellcome Trust, Portsmouth City Council, the Blagrave Trust, and the Girls Network – and is published in leading academic journals including the Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, Child & Family Social Work, Children & Society, and the Journal of Youth Studies.

Project highlights

Discover our areas of expertise

Mental health in childhood and education is one of our areas of research expertise in Education – explore the other areas below.

Research groups

We're promoting research and projects in the field of mental health in childhood, from wellbeing in early years to bullying in schools.

Interested in a PhD in Education?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Education postgraduate research degrees page.