Halton young unemployed experiencing mental illness, survey reveals

Runcorn and Widnes World: Young unemployed experiencing mental health problems Young unemployed experiencing mental health problems

MORE than one in 10 young people in the north west have experienced symptoms of mental illness as a direct result of unemployment, reveals a new survey published today.

The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index paints a bleak picture of young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Some 17 per cent of jobless young people aged 16 to 25 had experienced suicidal thoughts, self-harm, panic attacks, insomnia and difficulty controlling anger.

More than a quarter said they always felt depressed and one in five said they felt like an ‘outcast’.

The report comes as the region has seen a 175 per cent increase in the number of young people claiming benefits for more than six months.

The Prince’s Trust, which tackles youth unemployment, last year worked with 6,330 disadvantaged young people across the north west.

The youth charity 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.

Jonathan Townsend, northern regional director of 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.

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“Here in the north west, 14,215 young people are facing long-term unemployment and there is a real danger that these young people will become hopeless, as well as jobless.

“Our research highlights that unemployed young people are significantly less likely to ask for help if they are struggling to cope. “Our message to them is this. Organisations like The Prince’s Trust are supporting young people like you every day, helping them back into work, education or training. You are not alone and you need not struggle alone.”

For more information about The Prince’s Trust visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/youthindex or follow The Trust on Facebook or Twitter www.facebook.com/princes-trust / www.twitter.com/princestrust

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