Friendship, school and a good night’s sleep have all been named as key factors in a young person’s happiness, in the government’s first ever State of the Nation report on children’s mental wellbeing.

More than four in five young people aged between 10 and 24 say they are happy with their lives, in research published to mark World Mental Health Day, rating themselves happiest with their family and friends, their health, their school and their appearance. Bullying, including cyberbullying, remains a key reason for unhappiness or poor wellbeing, especially among teenage girls, while sleep and leisure time were also reported as important factors.

The landmark research fulfils a government commitment to bring together the best evidence on children and young people’s wellbeing, identifying trends and drivers so that the right support is in place to help them fulfil their potential.

The report delivers on a commitment made last World Mental Health Day to publish an annual report designed to better understand patterns and issues in young people’s mental health, alongside guidance for schools to help them measure their students’ wellbeing and make sure appropriate support is in place.

This guidance is being developed in consultation with experts from across government and in the charity sector. It will help schools navigate the resources and tools available to them to assess the impact of the pastoral activity they provide for their pupils, as well as advising on any other steps they can take to boost their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing, including when and how to seek further specialist support to ensure pupils get the right support at the right time.