My Cat Makes Me Happy
Date posted: September 15, 2017
A new UNICEF report released earlier this month highlights what Canadian youth think is critical to their well-being. My Cat Makes Me Happy: What Children and Youth Say About Measuring Their Well-Being presents the results of workshops conducted with youth across Canada.
“What we heard from Canada’s youth is that objective measures alone—like young people’s physical health, how they are doing in school and how much time they spend online – will not capture whether young people are doing well,” said Truesdell [UNICEF Canada’s Youth Participation Lead]. “In wealthy countries, we need to be measuring things far beyond basic needs, though these are not very fairly distributed. For young people, well-being is much broader. Just as important as their physical health and school grades are the quality of their relationships, and access to safe spaces where they feel respected and like they belong. When we take the time to talk with young people, we learn some surprising things. We heard time and again how much pets make kids happy and relieve stress.”
Currently Canada ranks 25th out of 41 rich nations in overall child well-being. Child homicide, suicide and bullying, in particular, occur at alarming rates.