Laura Sharman 30 July 2020

Pandemic leaves one in five teenagers unhappy with their lives

More than a million teenagers are unhappy with their lives, according to new research looking at the impact lockdown has had on well-being.

The Children's Society found nearly one in five (18%) of children aged 10-17 in the UK were dissatisfied with their lives overall. This is up from 10-13% over the last five years.

The annual survey also found half of parents expect coronavirus to harm their children’s happiness over the coming year.

Mark Russell, chief executive at The Children’s Society, said: 'Even before the pandemic, children’s?happiness with life was at its lowest?for a decade and we know there is a link between low well-being and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

'Urgent action is needed now as we recover from coronavirus to reset how we support children’s well-being and prevent this crisis harming a whole generation of young people.'

The charity is calling for a national measurement of children’s well-being, more investment in open-access community mental health services, and a review of schooling to ensure pupils' well-being becomes a permanent priority.

Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: 'This report reinforces our concerns that the impacts of lockdown will be far reaching for some children, young people and their families, whether as a result of hidden harms, poverty, mental health problems or substance misuse.

'Councils are best placed to coordinate support for children and families to cope with the long-term implications of the pandemic but expect to see a significant rise in referrals to children’s social care.'

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