skip to main content
Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

An individual’s emotional and mental well-being affects how they feel about themself, their relationships and their ability to cope with difficult feelings and circumstances.

Being in a good place emotionally does not mean everything in your life is perfect, but that you are resilient enough to deal with any problems that arise, can adapt to change and can face the future with optimism.

No-one can be emotionally strong all the time. Life is unpredictable and takes its toll on our emotional well-being. Negative life events like the death of a loved one, housing concerns and economic uncertainty are often the catalyst for mental health problems.

Parents must put their children’s needs before their own; however, this can be difficult if you are not feeling emotionally strong yourself.

For some women, it is the birth of their baby that signals the beginning of their mental health problems. The symptoms and severity of postnatal depression vary dramatically; however, many mothers with postnatal depression may struggle to bond with and look after their baby as a result.

Neither are children and young people unaffected by emotional and mental health problems. Many young people are unhappy, distressed, anxious and even suicidal, often in response to what is going on around them – at home, in school or the wider community – and over which they have no control.

Children and young people look to their parents to look after them, so when a parent becomes ill it can be a very frightening and unsettling time for them, even more so when the parent has a terminal illness. 

Children whose parents abuse alcohol and drugs are at higher risk of neglect and abuse and will be more likely to develop emotional and mental health problems themselves.

Some young people may start self-harming as a coping mechanism, while others may develop eating disorders.

Feeling good emotionally is just as important as feeling healthy and physically well. If you – or a child or young person you know – is feeling low or experiencing mental health problems, always talk to someone.

If you are concerned about the safety or well-being of a child or young person, always tell someone.

More Information

Reading Well recommends books for children which support their emotional health and well-being. The books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and are free to borrow from libraries across Wales.

Last updated: 30/01/2023