A report from youth charity the Prince’s Trust has revealed that young people are the most miserable they have been in almost a decade.
According to the organisation’s annual youth index, millennials are currently experiencing the lowest levels of happiness and confidence since the project began in 2009.
But why are 16-25 year olds so dissatisfied with their lives?
Brexit, Trump and the economy
1. Almost six in ten young people say recent political events have made them anxious about their future, with 44% adding they don’t know who to believe about Brexit.
2. Worries about politics and the economy are also making them pessimistic about what they will be able to achieve. While 34% of millennials believe they will have a worse standard of living than their parents, 42% say traditional goals such as a house and a steady job are out of reach for them.
A generation out of control
3. Control is another major factor flagged up by the survey. More than a quarter of 16-25 year olds feel like they have no control over their lives.
4. As a result, a further 16% of millennials believe they their lives will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try. For young people out of education, employment and training, this figure increases to a shocking 28%.
The Prince’s Trust research shows that young women rank significantly lower on the overall happiness and confidence index than young men.
5. While 31% of women asked say they do not believe they have power over their lives, 69% put this down to a lack of self confidence.
“Before the Prince’s Trust, I couldn’t do anything by myself,” a young woman named Shannon Yearsley told the charity.
“I felt like I was in a hole and I couldn’t climb out. I suffered from a home life which led to anxiety and OCD.”
6. A further 55% of those who felt helpless about the direction their lives were taking say mental health issues made it harder to take control.
Dame Martina Milburn, CEO of the Prince’s Trust, said the organisation wants to help 60,000 young people take steps towards a “brighter future” in 2017.
“The potential consequences of failing to help these young people who are so clearly in need of support have huge implications for our nation’s future. We simply cannot allow them to be paralysed by their circumstances and self-doubt.
“By working with us, you can be a part of the solution to the issues raised in this report and help young people to regain control of their lives.”
For more information about how to support the Prince’s Trust, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk