National Guidelines for inclusion of wellbeing in early childhood checks

Mental health concerns often begin during childhood and an estimated 50% of adult mental illness begins before 14 years of age.

Date published:

The National Mental Health Commission is leading a project to develop National Guidelines to support states and territories to include wellbeing in early childhood health checks (covering children aged 0-5).

All states and territories include wellbeing milestones in their early childhood health checks. However, the introduction of National Guidelines would support consistency, assist in early identification of and intervention for emerging challenges children are experiencing, and aim to help families access timely support and advice.

This work supports the Commission’s launch of the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which provides the framework and foundations for lifelong mental health and wellbeing for children, and provides recommendations on how children’s wellbeing can be supported by families, communities, education settings and the service system.

The Commission has engaged The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) to undertake a national online survey to inform the development of the National Guidelines.

They’re keen to engage with a broad range of stakeholders that cover many of the touchpoints of early childhood. This includes parents, families and carers, GPs, child protection workers, nurses and health workers, early childhood educators, and peak bodies and professional associations.  

To share feedback please complete this anonymous survey which closes on 20 August 2023. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and refers to children aged between 0-5 years.

Further information is available here.

For any questions, please email:

National Mental Health Commission media contact

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past and present, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.