9.8 mb - PDF
Samaritans spoke to young adults about economic disruption during the Coronavirus pandemic and what they need to be better supported.
Our briefing for policy makers in England sets out five recommendations for what the government should do next to better support young adults who have experienced economic disruption.
We undertook two surveys and a series of qualitative interviews with young adults who had experienced economic disruption during the first eighteen months of the pandemic. We asked them about their experience of job loss, a drop in income or job uncertainty, to understand how economic disruption affected their psychological wellbeing.
What did we find?
We found that young adults who experienced economic disruption in the past year were more likely to report suicidal thoughts.
We also found that economic disruption for young adults in the past year (such as job loss, starting to claim benefits, a drop in income, reduced or less regular hours) predicted greater feelings of defeat and entrapment, which are key factors for future suicidal feelings and behaviour.
However, the impact of economic disruption is not experienced the same way across all young adults.
What are we calling for?
- Government and the NHS should make sure that everyone receiving a mental health care plan gets financial support and advice. Mental health support workers should be provided with training to support this.
- Government should make sure that existing financial support and advice is proactively targeted at young adults who have experienced economic disruption and are struggling with their mental health.
- Government should provide more support to young adults who have experienced economic disruption to help them back into work, including expanding the individual placement support scheme. Youth Hubs should be used to increase mental health support for young adults who have lost their jobs.
- Government should provide money to local areas in England to build a network of mental health hubs which can easily be accessed by young adults in their communities.
- Young adults who are struggling with their mental health having experienced economic disruption should be supported by people specially trained to help them connect into their community.
3.9 mb - PDF