New research published by The Children's Society today (January 12th) has revealed the startling levels of unhappiness in UK children.
The Good Childhood report 2012 found that around half a million children in the UK are unhappy.
In light of the report's findings, the Children's Society has called for a radical new approach to childhood in the UK that will help foster greater levels of wellbeing.
Launched today with the backing of Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, the study was published after some 30,000 young people aged between eight and 16 were interviewed by researchers.
Key findings were that those with low happiness levels were less likely to enjoy their family and home life, feel safe and secure when with friends, or have a positive self-image and optimism for the future.
In light of this, the study helps demonstrate the important role that those in teaching jobs can have in helping children achieve happiness.
Announcing the report's findings, Elaine Hindal, director of The Children's Society's Campaign for Childhood, said: "We are calling for a radical new approach to childhood, placing their wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.
"Our research has exposed that how children feel really matters."
She added that the charity has created a comprehensive way of measuring the wellbeing that they hoped would be factored into policy making in the future.
A six-point list of priorities that help make childhood happy are outlined in the report which the charity believes should be adopted by government.
Among others, this includes the right environment in which to learn and develop, an adequate level of items and experiences that are significant to children and positive relationships with friends and family.
The Archbishop of York commented: "The moral test for any society is how it treats its most vulnerable, including its children.
"The fact that at any one time half a million children are unhappy with their lives should be a wake-up call to us all."
Posted by Tim Colman