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Current trends in health, wellbeing and risky behaviours amongst children and young people: a synthesis of recent evidence

Recent data from three major surveys of children and young people’s behaviours and attitudes – the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s smoking, Drinking and Drugs survey, the School Health Education Unit (SHEU) Young People into 2015 study and the Children’s Society’s Good Childhood 2015 report – and a recently-released Cabinet Office analysis of risk behaviours amongst young people provide a detailed insight into the lives of children and young people today. These reports show a mixed picture: while traditional risk behaviours such as smoking, drinking and drug use by young people appear to be in decline, there is growing concern about the apparent increase in children and young people suffering from poor emotional health. These findings demonstrate yet again why it is so important to have a PSHE programme focussed on pupil wellbeing on the curriculum in every school.