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Young unemployed face mental health problems

4th January 2011

The Prince’s Trust charity has warned that unemployment is causing heightened levels of mental health problems among young people.

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The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index report was drawn up from a survey of 2,170 people aged 16 to 25 with findings showing that almost half had problems such as self-harm and insomnia.

There are currently 943,000 people aged 16-24 in the UK currently out of work – the highest level since records began in 1992 - with the study revealing that young people were twice as likely to self-harm or suffer panic attacks if they had been out of work for a year.

The charity’s chief executive Martina Milburn said the longer young people were out of work, the greater the risk of them having problems.

One in six people who responded to the survey felt that being out of work was as stressful as a family breakdown while one in eight suffered from nightmares because they did not have a job.

Others said that unemployment made them feel ashamed, disillusioned or desperate.

The Prince’s Trust survey also showed that young people who were not in education, employment or training were less happy across all areas of their lives.

The Department for Work and Pensions said that a new Work Programme to be introduced in 2011 would give people “tailored support” which would not only help them move into a job but also keep their job.

It said the government was "focused on restoring the economy and supporting private sector jobs growth".

 

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