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'The State of Happiness'

A new report, 'The State of Happiness', from the Young Foundation and the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) highlights that promoting and influencing happiness is no longer an airy aspiration. As the recession forces difficult public spending choices, services focused on wellbeing are delivering widespread economic and social benefits - especially to children. It also examines happiness and wellbeing in the context of public policy.

http://www.youngfoundation.org/files/images/wellbeing_happiness_Final__2...

Against a background of intense pressures on public spending, the report recommends prioritising programmes that:

* Teach children resilience in schools - drawing on strong evidence that this improves academic performance and behaviour as well as employability of pupils

* Promote opportunities for neighbours to get to know each other, based on clear evidence that this tends to enhance wellbeing

* Provide support for isolated older people to help them create and maintain social networks, and reduce anxiety and depression

* Shift transport and economic policies to encourage lower commuting times and allow people to spend more time with their families and friends

* Reshape apprenticeships and other programmes for teenagers to strengthen psychological fitness to help young people find and keep work

* Support families so parents are happier and children are less likely to face problems at home and at school

* Promote activities that are simultaneously good for the environment and reducing CO2, and make people feel better about their lives