A third of young unemployed feel suicidal

Young people who are not in work or education are at risk of serious mental health problems, warns the Prince's Trust

One in three unemployed young people have felt suicidal, according to a new report.

In a telephone survey by the Prince’s Trust charity, one in 10 young people said they did not feel that ‘life was worth living’. The results were worst amongst those who were not working or in education.

The Prince’s Trust spoke to more than 2,000 people aged 16-24 and found that a third of those who were out of work felt depressed most or all of the time. Nearly half said their lives lack direction.

More than a million young people are out of work, according to the Office for National Statistics. This amounts to nearly a fifth of 16-24-year-olds and is the highest on record, according to the Mail. The recession has affected this age group disproportionately, with an 8 per cent rise in unemployment.

One in 10 of the unemployed interviewees said that being out of work had driven them to take drugs, or drink too much alcohol. A quarter had argued with their families, further undermining their sense of well-being.

David Blanchflower, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee and contributor to the report, said ‘Unemployment has a knock-on effect on a young person’s self-esteem, emotional stability and overall well-being. The longer a person is unemployed, the more likely they are to experience psychological scarring.’

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