Mental health report- State of the Nation

The first “State of the Nation” report was released on World Mental Health day, which took place on Thursday 10th October. The report is part of a shift in government commitment to young people and their mental health and is an act to bring together evidence on children and young people and use this to make the appropriate mental health support available for them. 

82.9% of young people aged 10 – 24 reported high or very high satisfaction in their lives and were happiest about their friends and family, health, school, and appearance. Other important factors included in young people’s happiness were a good night’s sleep, leisure time, and feeling safe in their own neighbourhood. 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson responded by saying: “it’s encouraging that the overwhelming majority of children say they are happy, but we have a responsibility to do better for those that aren’t.” The NHS found that 22.4% of girls aged 17 – 19 have an emotional disorder and that online activities are primarily linked to wellbeing. This is reflected in results found by the “State of the Nation” report, which says that bullying, including cyberbullying, remains a reason for unhappiness and poor wellbeing, particularly amongst girls. 

One in five young people aged 16 – 24 years old recorded that they had experienced high levels of anxiety, even at times when they had rated their happiness and general wellbeing as high. Looking forward, it seems the results of the report will lead to an increase in the professional mental health support that is available in schools. Williamson commented that the pressures that young people are facing today are drastically different to those that older generations have experienced, so they are the group whose voice needs to be the loudest. 

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Ellie Robson

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December 2021
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