Mental health warning for jobless young
The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index has
found that more than three quarters of a million young people
believe they have nothing to live for, with jobless youngsters
facing “devastating” symptoms of mental illness.
The research reveals that long-term unemployed young people are
more than twice as likely as their peers to have been prescribed
anti-depressants. One in three have contemplated suicide, while one
in four have self-harmed.
The findings are based on interviews with 2,161
16-to-25-year-olds and show that 40 per cent of jobless young
people have faced these symptoms of mental illness – including
suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks – as
a direct result of unemployment.
Long-term unemployed young people are also more than twice as
likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for.
The Prince’s Trust is now calling for urgent support from
government, health agencies and employers to fund its vital work
with long-term unemployed young people battling mental health
issues. With more support the youth charity can help more young
people build their self-esteem and move into work.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of youth charity The Prince’s
Trust, said: “Unemployment is proven to cause devastating,
long-lasting mental health problems among young people. Thousands
wake up every day believing that life isn’t worth living, after
struggling for years in the dole queue.
More than 430,000 young people are facing
long-term unemployment, and it is these young people that urgently
need our help. If we fail to act, there is a real danger that these
young people will become hopeless, as well as jobless.
The sixth annual Youth Index – which gauges young people’s
wellbeing across a range of areas from family life to physical
health – highlights that unemployed young people are significantly
less likely to ask for help if they are struggling to cope. Three
quarters of long-term unemployed young people do not have someone
to confide in.
David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group, EMEA, said: “Macquarie
invests in young people. We think it’s important to identify the
key issues they face today so policy and programmes aimed at
addressing them can be developed. The Index enables organisations
like The Prince’s Trust to offer disadvantaged young people the
guidance they need to build a stronger future and Macquarie hopes
these findings will help further target the support available.”
Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the Royal Society for
Public Health, said:
This research proves that unemployment is a
public health issue. It is one that must be tackled urgently and it
is essential that youth unemployment is added to the public health
She went on to say, "Unemployed young people are struggling in
many aspects of their lives, from their mental health and wellbeing
to their relationships and their qualifications and we must act
quickly to end this.”
In response to these findings, The Prince's Trust is increasing
support for the UK's most vulnerable young people through its
Get Started programme which aims to
inspire and motivate the long-term unemployed.
Prince’s Trust Get Started courses are run in partnership with
organisations such as the Premier League, the PFA, ASOS and Sony
Computer Entertainment Europe, reaching thousands more of the
country’s hardest-to-reach young people over the next three
This year, The Prince’s Trust will support 58,000 disadvantaged
young people, helping them turn their lives around. Three in four
young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work,
education or training.