Sunderland youngsters' mental health fears
Almost a fifth of children in Sunderland say they are unhappy with their mental health, according to a new survey.
Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza polled more than half a million school pupils nationally in her Big Ask survey between April and May.
In Sunderland, 1,299 children aged between nine and 17 responded to a question on their mental health – with 18% saying they were unhappy with it.
In addition, nine per cent said they were unhappy with their physical health and seven per cent with their ‘life overall’.
The survey also asked pupils what they worry about, with the highest proportion in Sunderland (41%) saying they were concerned about having enough money and 37% about having a good job or career.
But around 58% still say they expect to have a better life than their parents.
Dame Rachel said this generation were "veterans of a global crisis".
She added: “They have seen how colossally frightening life can be, far too young, and made a lot of sacrifices.
“But they have endured and are emerging stronger. Bruised, yes, and in many cases vulnerable, but, for the most part, happy, optimistic and determined.
“They are a survivor generation – a sleeves‑up, pragmatic generation, with civic‑minded aspirations.”
Her report is calling for a comprehensive catch-up package for schools, a faster expansion of mental health support teams, and stronger safeguards for social media platforms.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “We know that the pandemic hit young people hard and we will continue to prioritise young people’s wellbeing alongside academic success."