Rising Unemployment Plagues UK’s Youth: A Deep Dive into the Mental Health Crisis

Rising Unemployment Plagues UK's Youth

Rising Unemployment Amongst the Young People in the UK

This is following this revelation: Over 560,000 young people aged between 16 and 34 were unemployed in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2023. The statistic, however, points towards a critical issue faced by the youth.

Underlying Crisis: Mental Health at the Forefront

These alarming figures are being connected to an unfolding mental health epidemic currently sweeping across the country.

This has led to economic inactivity due to lack of health spending as cited by a considerable number of people.

Those not working now become more than those out of work and not searching for employment.

According to The Guardian’s report, this rise is primarily due to two factors – mental health crisis and systemic underinvestment into healthcare.

The Changing Face of Health

Terrifyingly, as per data from the Health Foundation, there are worrying signs on the horizon.

Nowadays, today’s 16-34 years olds have conditions that limit work at rates like those shown by persons aged 45-54 ten years ago.

This shift in health patterns demonstrates a significant change happening within young populations’ health dynamics.

The Relationship between Mental Health and Unemployment

Moreover, an ONS labor force survey further highlights how much mental issues play among jobless youth.

Stunningly, about 36 percent of people aged between sixteen and thirty-four who are unemployed have different kinds of mental illnesses.

Noteworthy here are depression, anxiety disorders and neuropathic pain which predominate among these age groups causing them not able to get jobs.

Root Cause Analysis

According to David Strain, a renowned professor at Exeter University and chairman of BMA’s Board of Science: “This country’s population is sicker because we treat sickness rather than prevent it.”

In his opinion, there is insufficient amount of accessible mental health resources hence needed a strong focus on prevention strategies concerning psychological well-being for all.

A New Focus

He criticizes the nation’s approach, stating that it has simply turned into a “national disease service” rather than a “national health service.”

The focus, he says, has shifted from holistic health care to mainly dealing with diseases and this has resulted in a serious lack of mental health services that are required by all people.

Unraveling Post-Pandemic Fallout

However, experts feel that proving the exact impact is difficult even though they admit that long Covid may have driven this trend.

However, researchers note that the spike in unemployment due to mental health issues in the aftermath of COVID-19 is not a sudden occurrence but rather an intensification of a decline spanning ten years since around 2012.

A detailed analysis by Health Foundation reveals an alarming trajectory: there was almost two-fold increase in number of individuals who could not work as their mental illness is incapacitating them between 2012 and 2023.

By 2023, this figure had gone up to 12.7 percent from 6.7 percent in 2012 which is seen as a deep and disturbing change regarding societal well-being.

Looking Ahead: Urgent Need for Remedial Action

These statistics carry profound implications, which underscore the need for immediate and concerted action.

The merging of youth unemployment with a complicated mental health backdrop calls for a complete overhaul of the healthcare system.

This change should involve readjustment of policies and reallocation of resources strategically.

According to experts and professionals working in the field, there is need for a paradigm shift in approaches.

They make it clear that rather than just managing diseases or focusing on certain mental disorders, mental wellness ought to be given priority.

This change in mindset ensures that society takes a more proactive approach towards mental health as a whole.

In summary, this revelation of over 500,000 jobless youths in UK ought to sound an alarm loudly.

It leads to urgent needs for strengthening and expanding mental health support systems.

These actions are imperative in bringing the country back towards a more holistic and all-inclusive approach to public health and overall well-being.


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  • Rising Unemployment Plagues UK's Youth: A Deep Dive into the Mental Health Crisis