More than 25% of youth fear poor mental health can affect employability post-COVID; Study

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Adult Mental Health
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Resolution Foundation, an independent British think tank and the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), in their latest study revealed that more than one in four young people are concerned that their poor mental health will damage their ability to find work after the COVID-19.

Even after the opening of the economy, the Resolution Foundation said that one in five adults aged 18 to 24 were still suffering a heavier toll than their older colleagues and were paying a heavier price with their mental health.   

It comes amid growing concerns about the crisis’ long-term impact on young people after 15 months of unprecedented disruption to their educations and the start of their working lives, with experts warning that those just starting out on the career ladder may bear the scars of the COVID-19 crisis for years to come.

In a study conducted by YouGov on behalf of the think tank and the Health Foundation charity, nearly half of adults (48 percent) stated their mental health was good. This compares to a far higher prevalence of 64 percent among those aged 55 to 64.

Moreover, more than one-quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds (27 percent) said they were concerned about finding work in the next months due to their mental health, compared to roughly one-fifth of those aged 35 to 54 and barely one-tenth of those aged 55 to 64.

“Worryingly, some young people are struggling even while the economy is recovering, and they are fearful about their career prospects. These fears must not be underestimated,” said Ms. Rukmen Sehmi, a senior research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

It was discovered that the number of young adults aged 19 to 24 who did not work any hours per week, including those who were furloughed, increased by a quarter or 400,000 between the end of 2019 and the end of March this year, far greater than for older age groups.

Mr. Xiaowei Xu, a senior research economist at the IFS, said, “We know that shocks early on in people’s careers can have negative effects on their future job prospects. Without effective support, there is a risk that young people today will bear the scars of the recession for years to come.” 

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