More than a fifth of Nottinghamshire children struggling with their mental health

More than a fifth of children in Nottinghamshire are unhappy with their mental health, according to a survey.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 12:07 pm

Dame Rachel de Souza, children’s commissioner, said a fifth of children in England felt this way – making it their top concern – and praised them as being part of a ‘survivor generation’.

She polled more than half a million school pupils across the country for her Big Ask survey in April and May.

In Nottinghamshire, 5,370 children aged nine-17 responded to a question on their mental health – with 22 per cent saying they were unhappy with it.

In Nottinghamshire, 5,370 children aged nine-17 responded to a question on their mental health – with 22 per cent saying they were unhappy with it.

Meanwhile, 12 per cent of youngsters said they were unhappy with their physical health, 6 per cent with their friendships, and 8 per cent with their life overall.

The survey found a fifth of children across England were unhappy with their mental health – but girls were almost twice as likely as boys to think this.

Dame Rachel said this generation were not ‘snowflakes’, but ‘veterans of a global crisis’.

She said: “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 and prematurely wise. Bruised, yes, and in many cases seriously vulnerable, but, for the most part, happy, optimistic and determined.

“They are a survivor generation – a sleeves‑up, pragmatic generation, with civic‑minded aspirations.”

The 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.

The survey also asked pupils what they worry about, with the highest proportion nationally, 41 per cent, saying they were concerned about having enough money to buy the things they need.

The second most common worry reported, 39 per cent, was whether they will grow up to benefit from a healthy planet.

It was a similar picture in Nottinghamshire, where 41 per cent of children said they were worried about money and 40 per cent about the environment.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “As we drive to level up opportunities across the country, we will continue prioritising young people’s wellbeing alongside academic success.”