Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said: “It is worrying that so many children and young people, particularly girls, appear to be struggling rather than thriving. Children have always felt pressurised into looking or behaving in certain ways but this has intensified with 24/7 internet access and particularly, social media, which for those who are being bullied or who suffer anxiety, means that they can’t leave their anxieties behind at the school gate. When children or young people experience serious emotional or psychological problems, it is vital they get support and help from local services to overcome these. Our recent research showed that over a quarter of children who were referred for specialist mental health treatment in 2015 did not receive a service.
“The Good Childhood report also found that perceptions about the local environment, including how safe children and young people felt and the facilities that were on offer, had an impact on their well-being and happiness. Children have a unique perspective on the world around them and it’s vital they are involved in, and consulted about, decisions that affect their areas.”