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Photo: futurity.org

In the last few years I have done my utmost to highlight the tragic consequences of mental health crisis amongst our children, young adults, the youth and students.

Today I was reading a very important report which further highlights my concerns and anxiety about our collective failure to come together and to see how we may come to help our young people to cope better with the disaster that the so-called modern life has unleashed on them.

Young Britons living in 'suspended adulthood', research finds

Significant numbers of under 30s lack self-confidence and are at risk of mental health problems, with women worst affected, says report

Photo: youthnet.org

Anxious, worn down and fearing for the future: Major survey of 18-30 year olds reveals a generation in crisis, with young women worst affected

Millions of young people in Britain are being hit by serious financial and work problems and pessimism about the future with young women worst affected, according to a major new study of 18-30 year olds by the charity Young Women’s Trust.

Drawing on findings from a major poll of 4,000 18-30 year olds carried out by Populus Data Solutions, No Country for Young Women, reveals a despairing and worn down generation of 18-30 year olds, many of whose lives are on hold because of financial, work and housing problems.

Worries about work, finances and housing

Photo: youngwomenstrust.org

As a result of financial pressures, young people aged 18-30 are having to put their lives on hold. Almost half (48%) said they may have to put off having children. 43% still live at home and a quarter (24%) had to move back in with their parents because they couldn’t afford to live independently. 56% of young people said they would consider moving abroad for work.

This is unsurprising given the difficulties in earning enough money reported by many young people. Three in ten young people had been offered a zero hours contract (30%). More than one in five reported having been paid less than the minimum wage (22%), and 28% of young people in work said they didn’t have enough paid hours. Almost half (48%) said they are worried about how much their job pays.

Financial pressures are particularly affecting young women, with 39% of young women saying it was a real struggle to make their cash last until the end of the month (compared with 27% of young men). 42% of young people said it would be a big financial problem if they had to replace a large item such as a fridge or washing machine this year (45% of young women, 39% of young men). Fewer than four in ten young people (36%) thought they would be debt-free by the time they are 40. One in 12 parents (8%) aged 18-30 reported having to use a foodbank to survive.

The survey also found that 30% of young women had experienced sex discrimination when working or looking for work. A majority of young people said women still face discrimination in the workplace, with young women (72%) more likely to recognise this than young men (54%).

The future’s not bright for young people

The psychological effect of these pressures facing millennials is taking its toll. The survey found that amongst 18-30 year olds:

  • 47% lack self-confidence, with young women (54%) much more likely to say this than young men (39%)
  • Over half of young people said they feel worried for the future (55% of young women, 47% of young men)
  • Four in ten (42%) said they feel worn down (46% of young women, 38% of young men)
  • One in three said they were worried about their mental health (38% of young women, 29% of young men).

In response to the survey findings, Young Women’s Trust is calling for addressing the challenges faced by young people to be at the heart of policymaking across government. Amongst the measures the charity wants to see are:

  • A Minister established within central government with responsibility for overall youth policy, including youth employment
  • A commitment from Government to moving towards extending the National Living Wage to under 25s
  • A greater focus, including through JobCentre Plus, on supporting young adults – especially young women - with confidence, emotional wellbeing and employability.

Speaking today, Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust said:

“At a time of life traditionally characterised by youthful confidence and optimism, it is distressing that so many young people, especially young women, are struggling to make ends meet, and are increasingly worn down and worried about the future.

Make no mistake about it, we’re talking about a generation of young people in crisis. And while life is hard for many young people, our survey shows it’s likely to be considerably tougher if you are a young woman.

It’s not in any of our interests to write off an entire generation. Much more needs to be done to improve young people’s prospects, including through creating a Minister for young people, extending the National Living Wage to under 25s, delivering on Government commitments to improve housing options for young people and tackling workplace discrimination. Our findings also show that there needs to be a particular focus on better understanding the needs of young women who are at real risk of being left behind.”

Photo: youngwomenstrust.org

Read the report: No Country for Young Women

Life's Big Questions:

What is this life all about? 

Why am I here? What’s my Life’s purpose? How can I make the most of my Life? 

The Wisdom Corner

The links noted below are amongst my Blog postings which are there to provide ideas for inspirational stories for everyone, encouraging contemplation, soul searching and spiritual enrichment.

Whenever you get a chance, please take a few minutes to watch, listen and read some of the amazing narratives below: They are some examples of the many gems I have discovered in my life journey from the wisdom of others. They have opened new horizons in my life. For that I cannot be grateful enough.

Here, by sharing their wisdom with you, I hope they will do the same for you: Life's Big Questions: My Wisdom Corner