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More than a quarter of young people surveyed said they often feel depressed
A quarter of young people in London suffer from depression as a result of unemployment, a report by a the Prince’s Trust has found.
The Youth Index 2014 report published today says 20 per cent of jobless Londoners between the age of 16 and 25 experienced suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, insomnia, self harm, drug-taking and drinking large amounts of alcohol as a direct result of being out of work.
One in five also said they felt like an ‘outcast’ and more than a quarter said they ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel depressed.
Waltham Forest has seen a 186 per cent increase in the number of long-term jobless young people since the beginning of the recession.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of 24 year-olds claiming Job Seekers Allowance in the borough for more than six months rose from 190 in October 2008 to 545 in October 2013.
Seyi Newell, 25, of The Bramblings in Chingford, was out of work for a year before she was encouraged by her mother to contact the Prince’s Trust.
Ms Newell had previously worked in Fashion public relations, but the company collapsed.
She said: “I’ve worked since the age of 16 so when I was out of work my self esteem and confidence went through the floor. I wasn’t interacting with people or meeting my friends; I was cut off from the world.
“I began to feel frustrated and depressed. I never realised that a job was so important to me, a big part of my personality, until I had no reason to get up in the mornings.
“It got to the stage where I didn’t want to leave the house, and when I did have to go out, I’d suffer from anxiety attacks. Getting on a train in rush hour became my idea of a nightmare.
After turning to the Prince’s Trust in November 2012, Ms Newell received £3,000 in funding to set up Pages, an online book retailer that supports independent publishers, and is a Youth Ambassador for the Trust.
Nationally, the report found that young people who are long-term unemployed are more than twice as likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for.
The Youth Index polled 2,161 young people.
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