Mental health in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones, and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in early care and education programs and school, and in their communities.1 Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how people think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how people handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.2 When early educators and families know more about early childhood mental health, they are better able to support children’s learning and development.
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