A healthy start starts here.

What is mental health?

Mental health is one of the most important parts of a child’s learning and general health. Simply, mental health is:

  • How we think
  • How we feel
  • How we act
  • How we relate to others
  • How we communicate and learn
  • How we respond to what life throws our way

Everyone has mental health. It reflects our ability to balance happiness and sadness, to enjoy good things, to accept and address bad things, and to achieve normal, comfortable relationships with a broad number of people in our daily lives.

Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. That’s why we want to be sure our children are:

  • Mentally healthy and secure
  • Emotionally balanced
  • Able to behave appropriately and rationally

Just as things can go wrong with our heart, lungs and other organs, things can go wrong with our brain, affecting our emotional and mental state. That is why parents need to be aware of all aspects of their children’s health, and respond as much to the needs of their mental health as to their physical well-being.

Find more information about mental health resources.


Additional information, answers and resources are available from the U.S. government at MentalHealth.gov.