Press Release 2018: Mental Health Problems in children and young people

1 in 10 of children aged 5-16 have a diagnosed mental health problem.

50% of all mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 18.

1 in 10 of children aged 5-16 have a diagnosed mental health problem, and half of all mental health conditions are established by the age of 14, and three quarters by age 18.

The UK government announced this week (July 2018) that from 2020 compulsory lessons will be introduced for children as young as four, to help them recognise and act on anxiety and depression.

A Guernsey company, The Decider, is already providing teachers and professionals in the Channel Islands, UK and internationally with knowledge, methodology and material to help children learn skills that they can draw upon as they grow up and become adults, to allow them to cope, understand their feelings and then decide how to react. Ultimately these skills aim to equip children and young people to manage emotions and reduce the severity of mental health problems.

Carol and Michelle from The Decider said, “Mental health and well being needs to be a priority in schools now. 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 have a diagnosed mental health problem, and half of all mental health conditions are established by the age of 14. Teachers, parents and carers struggle to know what to do - we need to act now. The Decider has developed highly effective solutions that can be adopted quickly to bring benefit to children and young people right now”.

The Decider Life Skills are PROACTIVE MENTAL HEALTH. They can improve the mental health and well being of children by teaching them effective, evidence based, fun and memorable skills

“One of the greatest gifts we can give children and young people is the ability to manage their own emotions and mental health.” Ayres and Vivyan 2018 (

The Decider is a rapidly growing Guernsey business that is set to have a real impact in society in Guernsey and beyond as leaders in this field of proactive
mental health for children and young people.

Michelle Ayres and Carol Vivyan are Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists and
co-creators of award winning The Decider Skills, The Decider Life Skills and
STOPP app. The skills are based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT); both have an impressive evidence base.

Developed with service users in 2010, they are now being used extensively in
health, education, business, home and social settings. The skills are delivered in an effective, fun, interactive and adaptable style that makes them easy to learn and teach. The skills develop a common, shared language which increases communication and understanding about mental health and reduces stigma.

See for more information.

Mental health problems are increasing. 50% are established by age 14 and 75%
by age 24 so the rationale for early, proactive intervention is strong. Building on the success of The Decider Skills, The Decider Life Skills Good2Go is a unique approach that uses children to teach children the skills via video. Quality trainer manuals, handbooks for students, posters, props, and exclusive, secure access to teaching and explanatory videos for students, teachers and< parents makes this an effective and very affordable initiative for schools as a whole system approach. The videos are educational and informative and include real life examples.

What do teachers say about The Decider Life Skills? “The children’s responses were so positive - all noting substantial changes in their capacity to manage emotions. Wow!”


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