Children and young people’s mental health indicator set

A set of national mental health indicator for children and young people in Scotland has been established.  This complements the mental health indicator set for adults.

Launched at an event at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 25 November 2011, the children and young people’s mental health indicators cover both the state of mental health (mental wellbeing and mental health problems) and the associated contextual factors. They are structured under two constructs (categories):

  • High level constructs of mental health status – outcome measures
  • Contextual constructs – covering the risk and protective factors and the consequences of mental health. These are structured within five domains: individual, family, learning environment, community and structural.

The indicators provide for the first time a means of assessing and monitoring the mental health of Scotland’s children and young people over time and will enable the development of the first national mental health profile for children and young people (aged from pre-birth to 17 years). Updated every four years, the profile will result in a greater understanding of the current and changing picture of mental health within this population and the factors that influence it.

The final briefing paper (2011) provides a summary of the output from the work including the indicators, their measures and associated data sources and recommendations.

The final report on the indicators, which describes in detail the background to the work, the process undertaken in creating the indicators, the rationale and an overview of the evidence-base for the indicators as well as the indicators themselves and their data sources and the recommendations in full, will be available here shortly.

A next step is reporting on the indicators to create a national mental health profile. NHS Health Scotland is currently producing an update of the adult mental health profile. When this is completed in spring 2012, work on the children and young people’s mental health profile will follow.

Launch Presentations

The children and young people’s mental health indicator set for Scotland was launched on 25 November 2011. The programme for the event included presentations by:

Future steps


If you have comments on the indicators project or require further information please contact Jane Parkinson –