Study: Young Britons increasingly face mental illness

Those suffering from mental illness are more likely to be unemployed or take low-paid jobs than those without, a study found. — AFP Relaxnews

Young British people increasingly suffer from mental health problems which hamper their ability to find jobs, according to a study published Monday calling for government action.

The Resolution Foundation think-tank, which conducted three years of research mental health and work for Britons aged between 18 and 24, blamed social media for many problems.

Those suffering from mental illness are more likely to be unemployed or take low-paid jobs than those without, the study found.

"Young people today have the undesirable attribute of having the poorest mental health of any age group," the Resolution Foundation said.

And it warned that Britain needed to fund more mental health support to avoid a "lost generation" due to ill health.

Between 2021 and 2022, as Britain emerged from Covid pandemic lockdowns, the study found that 34% of young Britons reported mental disorder symptoms like anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression.

That was higher than in 2000 when the proportion stood at 24%.

In addition, 41% of young women were prone to mental health disorders, compared with 26% of young men.

The think-tank noted that research had identified that excessive use of social media played a key role in fuelling anxiety and depression, and enabling online bullying.

"Young people with mental health problems... are more likely to struggle in the adult world than their healthier peers," the report added.

"Poor mental health can blight young people's experience of education, for example; hamper their finding a job in the first instance; and constrain their ability to flourish in the labour market thereafter."

This was critical for their living standards both now and in the future, it added.

"This matters not just for young people's living standards in the here-and-now; there is a well-established 'scarring effect' that a bumpy start to adulthood can have on one's long-term life chances." – AFP Relaxnews

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