LONDON: Young British people aged 16 to 25 are the unhappiest generation in a decade, with their sense of wellbeing at its lowest ebb since the Prince’s Trust charity first started measuring young people’s emotional health in 2009.
According to its annual UK Youth Index, almost two-thirds (61%) of young people regularly feel stressed, more than a quarter (27%) regularly feel “hopeless” and around half (47%) have experienced a mental health problem.
Based on responses from 2,194 youngsters, the report also highlights some of the factors that could be contributing to this sense of disillusionment.
It shows that 42% of young people think they put too much pressure on themselves to achieve success, yet despite these concerns more than a quarter (28%) say they would not ask for help if they feel overwhelmed.
The Prince’s Trust, which was founded by the Prince of Wales in 1976, also reveals that young people are particularly disillusioned with the job market and have concerns about their finances and future prospects.
One in ten (10%) are not in employment, education or training, while a similar proportion (9%) say they had lost a job over the last two years through redundancy or having a contract terminated or not renewed.
Meanwhile, more than half (54%) worry about their finances and their overall future (57%). And at a more personal level, 48% worry about their body image, while 35% worry about not having enough friends.
In addition, the report highlights significant differences between young men and women, the Daily Mail reported.
For example, half (50%) of young women believe they put too much pressure on themselves to achieve success compared to just a third (34%) of young men.
And almost two-thirds (62%) of young women think a lack of self-confidence holds them back, compared with 46% of young men, while 57% worry about “not being good enough in general” compared with 41% of young men.
Nick Stace, chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, said “it should ring alarm bells for us all that young people are feeling more despondent about their emotional health than ever before” and called on the government, charities and employers to invest more in developing young people’s skills and promoting positive mental wellbeing.
The generation the charity is speaking up for broadly aligns with Gen Z, who were discussed at the MRS Kids and Youth Research conference in London earlier this year.
As covered in a WARC report, many of the conference speakers suggested that this generation is very anxious, having grown up amid economic crisis, rising levels of inequality and a low-level but constant terrorist threat. (For more, including Gen Z’s attitudes to marketing, read: Who is Generation Z?)
Sourced from Prince’s Trust, Daily Mail; additional content by WARC staff