Girls' Attitudes Survey 2015

Take a first look at this year’s Girls' Attitudes Survey results.

We asked 1,574 girls and young women aged between 7 and 21 for their views on a range of issues - from health and well-being to relationships and careers. We will be launching the full survey in September but we wanted to reveal our key findings about the mental well-being and resilience of girls in the UK.

Girlguiding Chief Executive, Julie Bentley, said: 'The findings in this year's Girls' Attitudes Survey provide a stark warning about the fragile state of UK girls' well-being.

'We need the support of decision-makers to start an open conversation about girls' concerns. By listening to girls, we can work together to tackle the root causes of their distress – and champion their potential.'

Here is what girls told us about mental well-being:

Girls of all ages are experiencing problems with their mental well-being

Of most concern this year is the fact that two in five girls aged 11 to 21 say they have personally needed help with their mental health (37%). This increases with age – among 11- to 16-year-olds the figure is 28%, but among those aged 17 to 21 it is nearly half (46%).

Girls' health and well-being concerns have changed dramatically over the last five years

Self-harming tops a list of health concerns for girls aged 11-21, closely followed by smoking, mental illness, depression and eating disorders. In 2010, girls' top three health concerns were binge drinking, smoking and drug abuse.

Girls feel adults often fail to keep pace with new threats to girls' well-being

82% of girls aged 11 to 21 say adults don't recognise the pressure they are under.

While girls aged 13 – 21 say mental health issues, cyber-bullying and getting a job are the top overall concerns facing young people today, they think their parents' biggest concerns remain drug use, alcohol and smoking.

Girls are failing to find adequate support with their mental well-being

Nearly three in five girls aged 11 to 21 say that mental health is awkward to talk about (57%), rising to two-thirds of girls aged 17 to 21(66%). Fewer than half of girls aged 11 to 16 say that they have talked about mental health during lessons at school (44%).

Just over half of girls aged 11 to 21 feel that they don't know enough about mental health issues amongst young people (53%), and that they would like to know more about where to get help and support for mental health issues (52%).

You can read more about the findings in our blogs from Girlguiding Advocate Katherine Bradfield and Chief Guide Gill Slocombe.

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