Behind the News Happiness Survey

Behind The News (BTN), an ABC current affairs show for children, has conducted the ‘biggest survey of kid’s mental health in Australian history’.

The BTN Happiness Survey, undertaken as part of the ABC’s Mental As initiative, asked 20,000 students about being different, school, bullying, body image and more. It found that 52 per cent of children nearly always feel happy and that 46 per cent of children said that they would talk to their parents if they felt worried. However it also found that 43 per cent of the children were worried about their future most or all of the time and that 19 per cent of the respondents said they would not talk to anyone about their problems.

Other survey findings include:

  • 87 per cent felt safe at home and 64 per cent felt safe at school
  • 67 per cent said they had been bullied and 39 per cent were bullied for a year or more
  • 35 per cent of children said they would change their body if they could.
  • 15 percent often don’t feel valued.

Ms Kirrilie Smout, a child psychologist, told the ABC that children ‘don’t show worry in the same way that adults do … children will often bounce around looking happy and engaged in what they’re doing but they’re not as good at using words to talk about their worries’.

Sources: ABC News, 7 October 2015; The Age, 12 October