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Youth Unemployment Causing Mental Distress

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8:15am 3rd January 2014

A youth charity has told Wessex FM they've seen a "massive rise" in mental health illnesses among unemployed young people in Dorset.

The revelation comes as new figures were released in a YouGov poll for the Princes Trust that found more youngsters were experiencing problems.

40% said they were worried about their prospects and had suicidal thoughts or panic attacks due to their unemployment. The situation was found to be worse amongst the long term unemployed.

Of those polled, 9% said they did not "have anything to live for".

The Princes Trust charity run programmes to help young people develop work skills and Marie Claire Nicholson from the Dorset hub told us the latest findings are concerning;

"We've seen a massive rise of mental health illnesses in the past few years. There are a lot of reasons for that really but mainly because of the lack of opportunity out there for young people, so they're spiralling into a situation of low self-worth and what's the point of getting up in the morning if there's nothing to get up for."

Marie said staffs at the Dorset Prince's Trust have had extra training so they can cope with the number of people coming to them with mental health problems;

"We've actually had to increase the training that we have and the knowledge that we have to actually look after and support our young people because we don't want to get to a stage where we think someone's too at risk to come on our programme. We've seen some shocking things over the years from mental health illness and it just seems to be getting worse."

The Prince's Trust run a course for unemployed young people in Weymouth and Marie says last year 80% of their people have gone into work or educational training.

You can find out more on theirwebsite or call the local team direct on 01305 753035.

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