Half of young people believe they are “not good enough”, according to research that highlights the effect of poor job prospects and unaffordable housing on mental health.
The Prince’s Trust research is based on a survey of 2,194 people aged 16-25 in the UK, including Scotland, and shows that young people’s happiness and confidence in their emotional health is at the lowest level since the survey was first run in 2009.
The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index, which gauges young people’s wellbeing across various areas, from working life to family relationships, finds that 27 per cent regularly feel hopeless.
Some 49 per cent of respondents, when asked what they worry about, cited “not being good enough in general”, while a third fear that their school, college or university grades are not good enough.
Morag Henderson, senior lecturer in sociology at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, University College London Institute of Education, says in the report: “Young people are dealing with more challenges than ever before, such as a highly competitive labour market, the rising costs of housing and the rising costs of higher education.”
Finlay Laverty, senior head of partnerships at Prince’s Trust Scotland, comments: “This is a generation rapidly losing faith in their ability to achieve their goals in life, who are increasingly wary of and disillusioned with the jobs market. Scotland is at real risk of leaving a wealth of untapped potential to go to waste.”
The report, published last week, comes after the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) called for all school staff to be trained to support pupils who are struggling with their mental health. SAMH public affairs officer Craig Smith wrote last year that “it’s clear that if we’re to successfully combat poverty and inequality, we must do much more to support mental health from a young age”.