First ‘State of the Nation’ report marks World Mental Health Day

This article was taken from:

By Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

More than 4 in 5 children and young people report being happy with their lives, as landmark new report on children’s wellbeing is published

  • Young females were more likely to report that they were recently anxious than males.
  • Bullying had the strongest link to teenage girls’ emotional wellbeing across adolescence, with seeing friends and getting enough sleep also rating highly;
  • There are marked gender differences with experiences of cyberbullying: females report higher rates than males;
  • Women report lower satisfaction with their leisure time than men; and
  • Social media did not have a strong association with teenage girls’ psychological health.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Looking after our mental health must start at a young age – and our children should feel valued, supported and listened to. It is encouraging this report finds the majority of our young people are happy, but our mental health is an asset – just like our physical health, so it is vital children get the support they need.

We are training a new dedicated mental health workforce in schools and colleges across the country, to ensure quicker access to a range of support and treatments, as well as teaching pupils what good mental health and physical health looks like.

We are also transforming services through the NHS Long Term Plan – backed by an extra £2.3 billion a year – so that 345,000 more children and young people have access to mental health support by 2023/24.

The report delivers on a commitment made last World Mental Health Day to publish an annual report designed to better understand patterns and issues in young people’s mental health, alongside guidance for schools to help them measure their students’ wellbeing and make sure appropriate support is in place.

This guidance is being developed in consultation with experts from across government and in the charity sector. It will help schools navigate the resources and tools available to them to assess the impact of the pastoral activity they provide for their pupils, as well as advising on any other steps they can take to boost their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing, including when and how to seek further specialist support to ensure pupils get the right support at the right time.

Professor Peter Fonagy, CEO of the Anna Freud Centre, says:

I very much welcome this survey and we need to absorb all its findings. It’s heartening that four out of five children are happy. However, we cannot ignore the fact that one in five children are not. We should be pleased that so many young people are resilient to the pressures of 21st Century life, and be both prepared to stand by and support those who struggle.

The high level of satisfaction with family relationships is particularly encouraging, given the effort that successive governments and the voluntary sector have made to support good parenting over the past decade. The survey is also important in highlighting the importance of the community in which our children live and study in determining their potential to achieve happiness.

These findings should remind us that everyone has a role to play in promoting good mental health – and at the Anna Freud Centre, we are playing a key role in this by working with over one million children in schools.

Post in support of World Mental Health Day 2019