The mental health and well-being of young people is a subject we regularly hear in the news from various sources. BBC School Report gives a chance to young people to share their personal stories about their own experiences, and talk about what is helping them, or what could help them in school.Sharon Stokes, Head of School Report for BBC News
Date: 16.03.2017 Last updated: 16.03.2017 at 10.20
A BBC School Report survey shows 70% of 11-16 year olds have experienced one or more negative feelings in the last 12 months, ranging from feeling upset and unhappy to feeling anxious, frightened or unsafe.
The survey of more than 1,000 students was conducted by ComRes as part of BBC School Report’s annual News Day on March 16, which this year is themed around mental health and well-being in schools.
Half (50%) of those who said they had experienced negative feelings said they hadn’t asked for help, with a third (34%) of all 11-16 year olds questioned saying they would not feel confident enough to ask for help and support at school.
The survey is one of two commissioned by BBC School Report to assess how students and teachers feel about mental health provision for 11-16 year olds in UK schools.
BBC School Report works with 11-16 year olds, helping them to tell the stories that matter to them and giving them a chance to share their views on issues which affect their lives. More than 900 schools are involved in the project across the UK.
Schools are reporting on a range of subjects but this year the project has focused on mental health to reflect the number of young people with stories to tell and share on the subject.
Head of School Report for BBC News, Sharon Stokes, says: “The mental health and well-being of young people is a subject we regularly hear in the news from various sources. BBC School Report gives a chance to young people to share their personal stories about their own experiences, and talk about what is helping them, or what could help them in school.”
A second ComRes survey, also commissioned by the BBC for School Report, surveyed teachers and found that 73% said they have found themselves often or occasionally worrying about a particular pupil’s wellbeing when they are away from school.
A third of teachers (34%) say they have received no formal training on how teenage development impacts on mental health and a quarter (23%) say they would not feel confident referring someone for mental health issues.
Notes to Editors
BBC School Report is a partnership between BBC News, BBC Academy, BBC Sport and BBC Childrens’.
BBC School Report gives 60,000 young people each year the opportunity to research and produce their own reports with the help of BBC staff mentors.
The project works in partnership with all types of secondary education schools and establishments, including Hospital Schools and Pupil Referral Units and involves young people of all social backgrounds and a range of special educational needs.
The project culminates in an annual News Day (this year on March 16).
This year there are 900 schools taking part in News Day and up to 30,000 pupils will be turning classrooms into newsrooms.
BBC School Report News Day - What’s happening on the day?
Newsbeat’s Tina Daheley and Newsround’s Ricky Boleto will host School Report Live, a mental health special from the BBC Radio Theatre with guests Dr Chris and Dr Xand Tulleken (from CBBC Operation Ouch), Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks) and Poppy Jamie (#happynotperfect). Filmed in front of a live audience of School Reporters from across the UK and young representatives from mental health charities, the event will be streamed live on the BBC News website.
As part of BBC News School Report, Thursday 16 March will also see pupils from schools across the UK creating video, audio and text-based news reports on a range of subjects that are important to them. Schools will publish the reports on their own websites, which the BBC will link to and some stories will feature throughout the day on local, regional and national BBC news programmes. Continuous live coverage entirely dedicated to School Reporters will be available online.
Nearly 200 BBC staff mentors have been helping schools to prepare for the day, working on stories from Lincoln City to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, mental health and child refugees to the history of the Dab dance move. School Reporters will be guest editing some of the BBC Local Live websites around the country for the day and Journalism departments at Sheffield Hallam, Birmingham and Salford universities are hosting young people from five schools to help teach media skills.
At MediaCityUK in Salford children from 14 schools from the North East, Yorkshire and the North West will take part in a Big Digital Day which includes a variety of workshops on Fake News, interview skills and careers. Groups will also be spending time with the BBC Homepage, BBC Sport and Mixital teams. The day will be hosted by CBBC’s Katie Thistleton.
At the Mailbox in Birmingham, young people from eight West Midlands schools will take part in a Big News Day where they will be learning to code, commentate, present the weather and make a radio play.
In Scotland The L.A.B will be working with Lasswade High School to make an animation about body image and healthy eating.
Elsewhere School Reporters will be visiting a primary school which teaches mindfulness and at Castle Douglas High school, School Reporters will hear about a unique project where older pupils have been delivering mental health lessons to the whole school.
Students from schools across Wales are being invited into BBC Wales in Cardiff and Bangor to contribute to a host of BBC Wales programmes in both Welsh and English, on Radio, Television and online. Some of these include BBC Wales Today, Ffeil, Taro’r Post and hourly live weather bulletins in Welsh and English on Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, where they will co-present with BBC weather presenters.
At BBC Northern Ireland pupils from at least ten schools are taking part in a studio panel debate, discussing a range of topics such as Brexit and mental wellbeing. A group of students will also be pitching their news ideas to BBC NI Director Peter Johnston while the BBC Bus will be out and about at a school producing radio packages and social media activity.
Bullying has "impacted for the rest of my life [sic]. On my journey so far I have had to conquer so many obstacles... anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts taunted me for two of the 9 years I encountered bullying"
Grace has spent much of her last nine years of school life being bullied. She has moved schools twice, and taken medication for anxiety and depression.
"I’d got braces and a girl kept getting at me for the way I looked - I’d get beaten up every week. Teachers wouldn’t do anything. I even heard the teachers talking about me behind my back. There was no one to turn to in the school and I felt so low I didn’t want to go on."
Mum Sarah says she there was little help for Grace from her schools. It was only through her own investigation that Grace received six months of music therapy until the funding ran out. This was followed by a year’s counselling from Let’s Talk. But little help came from Grace’s schools.
Now Grace helps in her current school as an anti-bullying ambassador and is a member of the National Anti-Bullying Board.
She says it is very important to tell her story: "I feel in today's society bullying affects everyone in one way or another and I feel people need to hear a true story to feel like they're not alone."
"All my life I have been bullied for my love of dance... In primary school I was physically and emotionally bullied up to the point that I had to have counselling... I thought that it was my fault that I was been bullied. I stopped eating, was terrified to go to school and couldn't sleep."
Junior was only five when he began to teach himself to dance by watching YouTube videos. Then when he was six years old he began to be bullied by older boys, telling him that only girls dance and if he was a dancer he must be gay.
He says he "felt really sad that it was happening to him and he cried every day when he got home. He was really lonely and isolated. He kept it quiet for a long time so his mum didn’t know." It then got physical. The boys were punching, kicking and throwing things at him. He says he tried telling his teacher but was told he was exaggerating or imagining it: "They just didn’t believe me. I even stopped eating I was so sad."
In the end things became so bad for the whole family they ended up moving house. Now Junior is very happy in his new school. It specialises in performing arts so he is surrounded by other dancers.
Junior has gone on to be the UKs freestyle dance champion and has accompanied Justin Bieber and Sam Bailey on stage. He has also raised more than £290,000 for charity and holds a Diana Award for Courageous Citizen for overcoming bullying and for helping others to combat bullying in their lives.
"I have never stopped dancing and have instead used my dancing to help me deal with the effects of bullying and to express my feelings. I am proud of who I am and of what I want to be and that is a dancer."
ComRes interviewed 1,033 11-16 year olds online between 27 January and 9 February 2017 and 705 teachers - comprising of 500 teachers via a ComRes online survey (between 25 January and 6 February 2017) and 205 teachers from BBC School Report (between 6 February and 20 February 2017).
The margin of error for the teacher survey is plus or minus 3.68%. The margin of error on the student survey is plus or minus 3.05%
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council (BPC) and abides by its rules.
Full data tables are available on the ComRes website: