United Kingdom: young people increasingly victims of mental illness

United Kingdom: young people increasingly victims of mental illness

Young British people aged 18 to 24 are increasingly suffering from mental illnesses, which largely hinder their entry into the job market, according to a study by the Resolution Foundation think tank published on Monday.

Young people today haveworst mental health of all age groups” and the think tank calls for government measures to combat this scourge and support to avoid a “lost generation”.

Between 2021 and 2022, when the country was just emerging from the coronavirus epidemic and long periods of confinement, 34% of 18-24 year olds reported symptoms such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. A rate significantly above that recorded in 2000 (24%).

Young women are much more exposed to these disorders (41%) than young men (26%), notes the study.

She emphasizes that in addition to the pandemic, social networks and the harassment phenomena that they reinforce play a considerable role in the outbreak of mental illness among young people.

But the study also wants to emphasize that “the (very welcome) decline in the stigma of mental health problems in recent years means that more young people are now likely to report their symptoms than in the past“.

These difficulties, in addition to their impact on the personal lives of young people who suffer from them, also have harmful consequences on their professional trajectories, their income, and repercussions on employers and State finances, continues the Resolution Foundation.

The study thus notes that young people suffering from mental illnesses are more often unemployed or hold low-paid jobs more frequently than other young people of the same age.

The number of people with long-term illness leaving the job market is at record highs in the UK. This inflationary factor at a time when the country is still facing the highest price increases in the G7 also contributes to a shortage of personnel in certain professions, and puts pressure on public finances.