young people express deepening concern for the future of work and study, according to research
New research released today by headspace the National Youth Mental Health Foundation has revealed half of young people feel their study (53%) and work (48%) situation has been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes as figures show young people under the age of 25 account for nearly half of all job losses, representing the single largest age group in the COVID-19 unemployment figures. Further unemployment figures, due to be released this morning, are expected to paint an increasingly dire picture for youth employment, predicted to rise above an already staggering 16%.
Carolyn Watts headspace Vocational Services manager said this is particularly concerning because not only does losing a job have a significant impact on independence, it can also have a profound effect on young people’s mental health.
“Young people are at a transitional stage of their lives. We know they feel the pressure to be working towards their career or study goals, and when this is impacted, due to events out of their control like the COVID-19 pandemic, it can have a really serious impact on their mental health.”
Recent headspace research also found 40% of young respondents felt that the pandemic had impacted their confidence to achieve future goals. Further, half of all respondents felt their mental health had worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic (51%).
“We’re really concerned about the lack of optimism we’re seeing from young people at the moment, and we really want them to know, that yes this is a really tough time, but there are things you can be doing now to help set you up for a bright future.
“Treating this period as a time to work on personal and professional development can be a really beneficial way to continue pursing work and study goals, even when we’re operating in a really uncertain environment.
headspace Work and Study recently received $6.75 million from the Federal Government to expand the program which helps young people to plan a career, find employment or work towards further education – in a highly accessible, confidential and youth-friendly environment.
The service exists to support young people whose work and study activities have been impacted by mental health. The service provides support tailored to a young person’s needs, and is delivered online or over the phone to ensure that all young people, wherever they live, can take part.
“If you feel as though you’re not sure about what your next step is when it comes to your work or study, reach out to headspace, we can help. We’re focused on helping you to be independent, resilient and hopeful for the future and can provide mental health and practical work and study support to help you reach your goals.
headspace recognises that young people will need the support of the work and study program not just now, but into the future, with the impact of COVID-19 on the careers of young people predicted to extend for several years.
“The demand for this service will only increase in the coming months and is likely to continue for years ahead. headspace is deeply concerned about the long term impacts job losses will have on young people and it’s crucial that programs such as this – specifically aimed at young people, are available in the future,” said Ms Watts.
If you’re unsure about what’s next, headspace Work and Study is here to help. Call one of our specialists on 1800 810 794 or visit headspace.org.au/workandstudy for more information.
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headspace Media & Communications: 0431 289 886