Andrew Lansley's self-esteem
We are intrigued by the move of the office of Director of Public Health to local authorities, and note with approval comments from Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, who in his address to the UK Faculty of Public Health Conference in July, was anxious not to limit his view to narrow behavioural outcomes. "It’s about building self-esteem," he said, and this is a topic that we have been interested in for a long while. In our reports we have often shown links between self-esteem and both health behaviours and mental health*. Although Lansley cautioned us all that "you can’t legislate for self-esteem from Westminster", we welcomed this more inclusive view of where problem behaviours arise.
Self-esteem has been a standard component of our surveys from the beginning, and currently sits alongside several other aspects of emotional health and well-being in our off-the-shelf surveys.
Now, whether self-esteem works in quite the way the Government thinks it does, isn't obvious. For example, in one sample we looked at recently, 18% of 16-18 year-olds scored in the lowest bracket of self-esteem; if the young people drank more than twice the recommended daily guideline on at least one day last week, the proportion was 13%.
|All 16-18 yr. olds||
16-18 yr. olds drinking
So, we see here smaller proportion of young people with low self-esteem among the heavy drinkers.
If you would like to find out about the self-esteem of young people in your school or district, contact Angela Balding on (01392) 66 72 72 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.