The Children’s Society is a national charity that works with the country’s most vulnerable children and young people. They have partnered with the University of York and produced the 7th Edition of The Good Childhood report which covers England and Wales.
As part of the report’s research, it has included new evidence on
- Trends in child well-being over time
- Local and national variations within the UK
- International comparisons
- Variations in well-being between children with different characteristics and experiences
This report is hugely interesting for a vast range of people and not just those working in CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services), school staff or parents. This is significant not only for mental health professionals but for anyone who may be affected by mental health.
The main theme running through the 2018 report is the correlation between young people’s gender, sexuality, and mental health.
‘Almost 50% of children who are attracted to the same sex or both sexes self-harm’.
Children with special educational needs, disabilities, long-term illnesses also had significantly lower well-being.
From the report very significant information was collated such as the decline in children’s well-being, reported to be as low as it was 20 years ago and that children’s happiness has begun to decline since the rise in 2010.
Some of the other key findings from the report include an increase of self-harm, outdated gender stereotypes are damaging girls and boys happiness and family relationships are particularly important for girls.
The report recommendations included:
- Schools should consider shorter well-being surveys to identify kids that need support instead of lengthy surveys which can be distressing for children
- In England, the Department for Education should expand the national data on the carer-report of the SDQ (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) to include a young person report on SDQ
- Counsellors for every secondary school and further education college in England
- Schools in England and Wales should develop inclusive whole school approaches to mental health and well-being
You can access the full report or summary on the children’s society website https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/resources-and-publications/the-good-childhood-report-2018