Friendship, school, and a good night’s sleep have all been framed as vital factors in a young child’s happiness. The research results have been published in the government’s first-ever State of the Nation report on children’s mental wellbeing.
More than four in five young people aged between 10 and 24 are reported to be happy with their lives, in research published to mark World Mental Health Day, rating themselves happiest with their family, friends, health, school, and their physical appearance. Bullying, including cyberbullying, still remains a key reason for unhappiness and poor wellbeing, especially among teenage girls, while sleep and free time were also reported as critical factors. Seeing their friends and feeling safe in their surroundings also has an effect on their ability to concentrate and enjoy everyday activities. The report also reported that one in five young people aged 16 to 24 years old has experienced high levels of anxiety even while also rating their happiness and wellbeing as high. Relationships education and health education will also become compulsory from primary school age. The new RSHE system is designed to inform children early-on with the knowledge they need to make sound decisions about their wellbeing, health, and relationships, as well as preparing them for adulthood in a changing world, so that fewer older children and teenagers feel unhappy and anxious.
Staff for these teams have been training since the beginning of the year, and build on important mental health support already in place, including training programmes that bring together the experience of NHS professionals and school and college staff, those that train senior mental health leads in schools and those that offer mental health first aid training to improve how young people are supported during the school day.