Published on
by
Common Dreams

'Nothing to Live For': Youth Unemployment, Depression, and Austerity

New study finds long-term youth unemployment taking severe mental health toll

by
Sarah Lazare, staff writer

The exploding youth unemployment crisis appears to be unleashing a public health one.

Youth facing long-term unemployment are more than two times as likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for at a rate of 21 percent, finds a report (pdf) released Thursday by the UK-based youth charity Prince's Trust.

In 2,161 interviews with UK-based young people aged 16 to 25 years old, the organization found 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."

Nearly a third have "contemplated suicide," and nearly a quarter have "self-harmed" the report finds—rates higher than their peers.

The following chart illustrates key findings of the study.

"Being out of work knocked my confidence and made me feel like a failure," said Steve Hardie in an interview with Prince's Trust. "Things got so bad that I barely left the house. I was sitting at home all day thinking, which is a really bad idea when you're depressed. I went into self-critical mode and even had suicidal thoughts."

“Unemployment is proven to cause devastating, long-lasting mental health problems among young people," said Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust.

"This research proves that unemployment is a public health issue," said Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health.

_____________________

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Share This Article

More in: