Risk factors

Reducing barriers to learning.


Early intervention is essential in supporting a child to cope, preventing escalation and the need for more serious intervention.

One approach to early intervention is assessing a child’s level of risk and protective factors before their behaviour indicates they might have an issue. Using this preventative approach, it is important to recognise that the presence of any one risk factor does not mean that the child is going to develop an emotional or mental health problem. However, two or more combined is likely to increase the risk.


Click here for information from Heads Together on risk and protective factors that may impact on a child or young person's mental health.

   Risk and protective factors

The below diagram has been taken from ' The mental health of children and young people in England ' from Public Health England, which can be found here.

For children with special educational needs or disability (SEND), these risk factors are much more likely to be present, with the protective factors more likely to be absent. It is therefore really important to consider the emotional health and wellbeing of children with SEND. For more information on how to support families, please see the Derby SEND Healthy Minds Network information and materials here.