4 Jan 2014

Young people believe they have nothing to live for - UK survey

11:53 am on 4 January 2014

A survey carried out in Britain says that up to three quarters of a million young people believe that they have nothing to live for in life.

The study for the Prince's Trust says almost a third of long-term unemployed young people have contemplated taking their own lives.

The trust said urgent action must be taken to prevent young jobless becoming young hopeless.

The BBC reports the Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index was based on interviews with 2161 people aged 16 - 25 years. Of these, 281 were classified as not in employment, education or training, of whom 166 had been unemployed for over six months.

The report found 9% of all respondents agreed with the statement: "I have nothing to live for"

It said that if 9% of all youngsters felt the same, it would equate to some 751,230 young people feeling they had nothing to live for.

Among those respondents classified as not in employment, education or training, the percentage of those agreeing with the statement rose to 21%.

The BBC says the research found that long-term unemployed young people were more than twice as likely as their peers to have been prescribed anti-depressants: 32% had contemplated suicide and 24% had self-harmed.

The report found 40% of jobless young people had faced symptoms of mental illness, including suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks, as a direct result of unemployment.

it found 72% of long-term unemployed young people did not have someone to confide in.

"Unemployment is proven to cause devastating, long-lasting mental health problems among young people,'' said Prince's Trust chief executive Martina Milburn.

"Thousands wake up every day believing that life isn't worth living, after struggling for years in the dole queue.

"More than 440,000 young people are facing long-term unemployment, and it is these young people that urgently need our help,'' she said.

"If we fail to act, there is a real danger that these young people will become hopeless, as well as jobless."