Young people concerned about their mental health affecting work

More than one in four young people said they are afraid poor mental health will affect their ability to find a job in future, according to new research.

The poll of 8,000 adults aged 18 and older, commissioned by the Resolution Foundation with support from the Health Foundation, found that 27% of 18 to 24 year olds said they were concerned about finding a job in the future because of mental health struggles. This was compared to one in five people between the ages of 35 and 54, and just one in 10 of those aged 55 to 64.

In addition, the research showed that of the workers under 25 who were in work before the crisis but were now either currently unemployed, furloughed or had seen their pay decrease, nearly three in 10 reported poor mental health.

The Resolution Foundation said these figures were “deeply worrying”. Young workers were also the least likely to say that their mental health was good, according to the report, with just under half reporting good, very good or excellent mental health, compared to nearly two-thirds of 55 to 64 year-olds.

The Resolution Foundation suggested this likely reflected the fact that young people were “disproportionately affected” by the economic impact of the pandemic and highlighted that there was “a clear link” between ongoing job uncertainty and mental health struggles.

Poor mental health was most prevalent among young women, students, low-paid workers and those not working or facing financial difficulties.  For employers, it is worth considering what policies and processes can be put in place to actively support young people to thrive at work; taking account of proactive support, rather than waiting until there is an issue. 


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