Children and mental health; understanding the difference between mental health and mental health conditions


There is a subtle yet important difference between mental health and mental health conditions. Mental health and mental health conditions are different and exist on a continuum, from Flourishing, Going OK, Unsettled to having a mental health condition.

  1. Flourishing: represents optimal functioning in which a child or young person feels good, functions well, relates well with others, and approaches their learning with purpose, curiosity and optimism.
  2. Going OK: this represents children and young people who experience good mental health and an absence of frequent or significant feelings of distress.
  3. Unsettled: in this range are children and young people who may come to the attention of educators due to more noticeable but generally time-limited periods of distress which have a mild impact on their behaviour, learning and relationships. These experiences may either be a) an expected part of development and growing up, b) an expected emotional reaction to challenging life circumstances, or c) the early signs of an emerging mental health condition.
  4. Having Mental Health Conditions: this represents children and young people experiencing Mental Health Conditions. They have thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are distressing and have a significant impact on their daily life.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: