Young long term unemployed more likely to suffer mental health issues

A new report issued by the Prince’s Trust has shown that ten percent of young people believe they have nothing to live for with the figures for the young long term unemployed more than double at twenty one percent.

The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index is based on findings from an online poll with 2,161 16-to-25-year-olds. It was shown that 40 percent of young people who are out of work have faced symptoms of mental illness - suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks - as a direct result of unemployment. According to the report the unemployed are twice as likely as their peers to be prescribed anti-depressant medication.

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.

The Youth Index shows that while the young jobless are more likely to suffer mental illness they are also less likely to ask for help if they are not coping. Around three quarters do not have anyone to confide in if they are finding it difficult to deal with issues.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, stated: "This research proves 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 agenda."

The Prince’s Trust is now seeking support from the Government, health agencies and employers to assist with funding it’s on going work designed to assist young people with mental health issues. In particular the Trust is now increasing support for its Get Started Programme which aims to motivate and inspire young long term unemployed.

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