Posted: 31 August 2016

Our latest Good Childhood Report reveals rise in girls’ unhappiness

It is absolutely vital to listen to what children have to say about their lives. Our Good Childhood Report 2016 is the fifth in our renowned series of annual reviews of young people’s well-being. The research is crucial for understanding the quality of life for children in this country and acting to improve young people’s lives. 

It’s desperately worrying that many young people are suffering rather than thriving. Girls are having a particularly tough time and it’s clear that concerted action is needed to prevent things from getting worse.

Major new findings

One in seven girls – more than a quarter of a million - are unhappy with their lives overall and a third of girls are unhappy with their appearance. Not only that, but we’ve seen an increase over time in girls’ unhappiness, revealing a deteriorating picture for girls in this country. 

As they get older, girls are also more likely than boys to experience mental health problems. There is a worrying link between girls’ unhappiness with their lives and appearance and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, highlighting the importance of tackling low well-being to address mental ill-health. 

Alarm bells are ringing and we must respond. 

Understanding children’s well-being helps change lives

Children and young people need to be listened to and given support when they need it. That’s why we’re calling for the Government to take action to improve children’s happiness by introducing a legal entitlement for children to be able to access mental health and well-being support in all schools and further education colleges in England and Wales.

Children’s well-being is crucial, not just for their own lives, but for society as a whole. We learn a great deal from listening to young people, and this helps us to change the lives of vulnerable children and young people. 

We will continue to support vulnerable children when they have nowhere left to turn, working hand-in-hand with children to make sure their voices are heard. 

Read The Good Childhood Report 2016

Spread the word

Please share the Good Childhood Report 2016 with your friends and family, and spread the word about this year’s Good Childhood Report and its findings.

By Matthew Reed - Leadership team
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