Young people could suffer 'lasting damage' to mental health and wellbeing because of unemployment during coronavirus pandemic

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Young people could suffer long-term damage to their wellbeing because of unemployment, a report has warned.

The Prince’s Trust said its research suggested a link between youth unemployment and poor mental health.

A survey of more than 2,100 people aged 16 to 25 found that even before the coronavirus pandemic, the overall wellbeing of young people had fallen to its lowest level in the study’s 11-year history.

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One in four of those questioned said they always or often felt hopeless, rising to almost half of those not in work, education or training.

Mental illness is one of the biggest difficulties faced by children and young people.Mental illness is one of the biggest difficulties faced by children and young people.
Mental illness is one of the biggest difficulties faced by children and young people.

This comes as the latest ONS data shows that around 730,000 UK workers have lost their jobs since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March.

Generally, young people are unlikely to be significantly affected by the actual virus with fewer than 600 deaths of people below the age of 45 involving Covid-19 registered in the UK, according to ONS data. But the indirect impact of coronavirus on people's mental health and wellbeing is proving to be a growing concern – especially with those out of work.

Jonathan Townsend, chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, said: “These findings are more poignant than ever in the face of the current economic crisis and rising joblessness.

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“The events of recent months mean millions of young people all over the UK now face the prospect of unemployment, as well as the lasting damage this can have on their wellbeing and future opportunities.

“If we don’t act now, we risk a lost generation of young people destined for long-term joblessness, mental health problems and poverty.”

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