Young jobless facing serious health risks

The Merrion Centre Leeds

In Yorkshire and The Humber, the number of young people trapped on benefits for more than a year has recently hit a 12-year high, as well as increasing more than six-fold since before the recession.

These are more than just numbers; they represent hundreds of thousands of wasted young lives.

Our hard-hitting new report, The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index, shows that almost half of unemployed young people claim that joblessness has caused them increased mental health problems – including reports of self harm, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and insomnia.

Our findings show that unemployment can go hand-in-hand with significant emotional stress. We know that the longer young people are jobless, the greater the risk to their mental health.

Failing to step in and help these young people now will create longer term problems, which will affect young people and their families across Yorkshire in the future.

More than three-quarters of the 3,500 young people supported by The Prince's Trust in Yorkshire and The Humber last year moved into work, education or training.

The efforts of charitable organisations like The Prince's Trust, working with the local authorities, the business community and individual fund raisers will play a key role in offering hope in 2011 to a generation of young people who think the new year has nothing to offer.

Samantha Kennedy, Acting Regional Director

The Prince's Trust, Yorkshire and The Humber