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.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 10:26 am
Youngsters' mental health concerns

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’.

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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."