Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children

Mental health, broadly conceived, is a key factor affecting whether children enjoy their lives and become flourishing adults. A sense of wellbeing can increase children’s ability to cope with life and the challenges they will face, both as young people and later in life.

This Forum will tackle ways of promoting mental health in children in the family, in schools and in communities. It will also address the major issue of how children can be better helped when they experience mental health problems.

WISH Forum Chair: Richard Layard, Barron Layard FBA
Program Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE

Professor Lord Layard is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, where he was until 2003 the founder-director of the Centre for Economic Performance. He now heads up the Center’s Program on Wellbeing. Since 2000 he has been a member of the House of Lords and is a keen advocate of making subjective wellbeing of the people the central objective of governments. He is co-founder of Action for Happiness, which has more than 30,000 members in more than 140 countries.
His influential book ‘Happiness – Lessons from a New Science’ was published in 2005 and has sold 150,000 copies in 20 languages. A second edition was published in 2011. He also advises the British Government on mental health policy and is an architect of the new revolutionary policy of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). He has been adviser to the UK Office of National Statistics on the measurement of national wellbeing and Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Health and Wellbeing.


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