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Schools could teach children how to be happy – but they foster competition instead.

All too often, academic demands on pupils provoke a sense of rivalry, rather than teaching them how to enjoy life and cultivate positive emotions. Yet educational performance does not need to come at the cost of children’s happiness and well-being. To see how schools can teach pupils to be happy, consider the education systems of some of the happiest countries in the world. For instance, all five of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland – appear in the top ten happiest countries, according to the World Happiness Report.

Mental health and Universities

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, one in six people over the age of 16 report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. Nearly half of adults self-identify as having a mental health problem with only two thirds of these having been diagnosed by a professional. There is evidence that how people are coping with mental health problems is getting worse, as demonstrated by the increasing number of people who self-harm and/or have suicidal thoughts. It has been established that 50% of mental illness in adult life (excluding dementia) starts before age 15 and 75% by age 18.

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