Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) News

First 'State of the Nation' report marks World Mental Health Day

Friendship, school and a good night’s sleep have all been named as key factors in a young person’s happiness, 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 say they are happy with their lives, in research published to mark World Mental Health Day today (Thursday 10 October), rating themselves happiest with their family and friends, their health, their school and their appearance. Bullying, including cyberbullying, remains a key reason for unhappiness or poor wellbeing, especially among teenage girls, while sleep and leisure time were also reported as important factors.

The landmark research fulfils a government commitment to bring together the best evidence on children and young people’s wellbeing, identifying trends and drivers so that the right support is in place to help them fulfil their potential.

Seeing their friends and feeling safe in their neighbourhood also has an impact on their ability to concentrate and enjoy day-to-day activities. The report also found that one in five young people aged 16 to 24 years old said they had experienced high levels of anxiety even while also rating their happiness and wellbeing as high.

It comes as the Education Secretary visits Chosen Hill School in Cheltenham, one of the 1,600 schools which volunteered to begin delivering the government’s new Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) before it becomes compulsory in all secondary schools from September 2020. Relationships education and health education will also become compulsory from primary school age.

The new RSHE curriculum is designed to equip children early-on with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships, as well as preparing them for adult life in a changing world, so that fewer older children and teenagers feel unprepared and anxious.

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