Monday, July 10, 2006

UK students to take "happiness lessons"

Schools experiment with a new strategy
to improve student performance and behavior

"Happiness lessons" are being offered to students in the U.K., and American experts are being called in to help. In Britain, figures show that at least 10 per cent - three children in every average-sized class of 30 in the country - are experiencing symptoms of severe depression, including suicidal thoughts, prolonged bouts of despair and the urge to cry on a daily basis.

Sources say that today, many children experience some form of mental illness as early as 14. Twenty-five years ago, the average age of people who fell ill to depression was 30. Details from The Independent (UK).

Related: Why happiness lessons are the cure for those teenage ills

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Dennis Fermoyle said...

DCS, I don't even want to think about "happiness" programs for schools in the U.S.. If I have to listen to one more educational commentator give us crap about caring too much about kids' "self-esteem," I'm going to scream.

Mental health is an issue though. Last year, our school social worker told us that about one-quarter of our sophomore girls were cutting themselves. Unbelievable!

Elizabeth said...

Here in NYC, there's usually about one social worker and three guidance counselors per several thousand students...

I never heard of these "happiness classes" used in the U.S. I would think I would have heard about them...Martin Seligman is well known...maybe he's working over in the U.K. because he's not appreciated here.

Rose said...

Very interesting article. Teens are really experiencing depression. We need to do anything we can to address this issue.