I was out of work and so low, but it does get better

Southend Standard: I was out of work and so low, but it does get better I was out of work and so low, but it does get better

MORE than one in five young people in Essex have experienced symptoms of mental illness as a direct result of being unemployed, a new report states.

Figures published today by the Prince’s Trust reveal the issues surrounding young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

The report uncovers worrying statistics, including 17 per cent of youngsters in the county believe life is not worth living.

Twenty-two per cent of 16 to 25- year-olds said they had experienced at least one of the following as a result of being jobless: suicidal thoughts, self-harm, panic attacks, insomnia, and turning to alcohol or taking drugs. The national average is 19 per cent.

Sarah Underdown, 23, from Southend, is proof from the darkness of depression can come positive outcomes.

She is a qualified hairdresser and had been working at a salon for five years until her mental health became affected and she had to give up work.

She was anxious and suffered panic attacks, firstly feeling the strain of work, then feeling worse while unemployed.

Sarah became extremely anxious about meeting new people and going for interviews.

She said: “I felt so low and unsure where to turn. I was on medication to help with my depression, but being unemployed made me feel so much worse – I felt like a failure.

“I went to the Jobcentre, and while they really wanted to get me into employment, the jobs weren’t right and I knew they wouldn’t make me happy.

“I was also scared of how employers would react to my mental health. Being unemployed aggravated my depression and anxiety.”

The Jobcentre referred Sarah onto the Prince’s Trust team programme, a 12-week course that helps 16 to 25-year-olds get back into employment, education or training.

She said: “I loved the programme.

It brought out my confidence and made me feel like a better person. Because I aspired to work with young people it was great to work in a team. I found myself feeling so positive that I was able to emotionally support the other young people on the programme.”

As Sarah’s confidence grew she started to volunteer with a youth group for children as she was keen to get into working with kids.

She added: “As well as support with interview technique and CV writing, I did things like abseiling and rock climbing, which I would never have been able to do previously.

I really pushed myself.”

Now Sarah has started to work at a children’s home for youngsters aged 11 to 17 with emotional and behavioural problems.

She said: “My new job is so rewarding, and although it can be stressful, it keeps me motivated.

“The team programme was so amazing. I was thankful to be able to join the course and recommend it to others all the time.”

John O’Reilly, regional director of the Prince’s Trust in central England said: “In Essex, 1,775 young people are facing long-term unemployment and there is a real danger they will become hopeless, as well as jobless.

“Our research highlights unemployed young people are significantly less likely to ask for help if they are struggling to cope.

“Our message to them is organisations like the Prince’s Trust are supporting young people, helping them back into work, education or training. You are not alone and you need not struggle alone.”

For more information, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk

Comments (9)

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9:37am Fri 3 Jan 14

ItsMyCommentYouCanCryIfYouWantToo says...

So she had a job, but gave it up because of her laziness, er I mean illness, so it was unemploment that caused the mental health issues then?
So she had a job, but gave it up because of her laziness, er I mean illness, so it was unemploment that caused the mental health issues then? ItsMyCommentYouCanCryIfYouWantToo

9:38am Fri 3 Jan 14

ItsMyCommentYouCanCryIfYouWantToo says...

wasn't*
wasn't* ItsMyCommentYouCanCryIfYouWantToo

9:57am Fri 3 Jan 14

Canvey van says...

Good luck to Sarah, I hope she continues to grow in confidence and finds a job of her dreams.
Good luck to Sarah, I hope she continues to grow in confidence and finds a job of her dreams. Canvey van

12:40pm Fri 3 Jan 14

emcee says...

All this help for the young unemployed but very little for the over 30s and nearly nothing for the over 40s. I know three over 40s who are long term (one year to three years) unemployed and none of them get any help whatsoever and are expected to do all the jobhunting without guidence or help getting back into work. One was even told he had to pay for his own re training if he wanted to get work outide his own skill because there was no money or scheme for his "status". He was told the young, single parents, ethnics and the "vunerable" get priority with training help.
All this help for the young unemployed but very little for the over 30s and nearly nothing for the over 40s. I know three over 40s who are long term (one year to three years) unemployed and none of them get any help whatsoever and are expected to do all the jobhunting without guidence or help getting back into work. One was even told he had to pay for his own re training if he wanted to get work outide his own skill because there was no money or scheme for his "status". He was told the young, single parents, ethnics and the "vunerable" get priority with training help. emcee

1:07pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Drugs and Alcohol, the two main symptoms of depression and insomnia.
Is it any wonder they then complain, of being unable to find a job?
My local hand car was has vacancies...alawys staffed by the hard working Poles
Drugs and Alcohol, the two main symptoms of depression and insomnia. Is it any wonder they then complain, of being unable to find a job? My local hand car was has vacancies...alawys staffed by the hard working Poles Nowthatsworthknowing

2:46pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

emcee wrote:
All this help for the young unemployed but very little for the over 30s and nearly nothing for the over 40s. I know three over 40s who are long term (one year to three years) unemployed and none of them get any help whatsoever and are expected to do all the jobhunting without guidence or help getting back into work. One was even told he had to pay for his own re training if he wanted to get work outide his own skill because there was no money or scheme for his "status". He was told the young, single parents, ethnics and the "vunerable" get priority with training help.
More reason to get qualifications, a trade, otherwise carry on stacking shelves...
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: All this help for the young unemployed but very little for the over 30s and nearly nothing for the over 40s. I know three over 40s who are long term (one year to three years) unemployed and none of them get any help whatsoever and are expected to do all the jobhunting without guidence or help getting back into work. One was even told he had to pay for his own re training if he wanted to get work outide his own skill because there was no money or scheme for his "status". He was told the young, single parents, ethnics and the "vunerable" get priority with training help.[/p][/quote]More reason to get qualifications, a trade, otherwise carry on stacking shelves... Nowthatsworthknowing

6:41pm Fri 3 Jan 14

echoforum says...

Complete rubbish!
Its fashionable to tell all ,that you are depressed..and get some free dosh of the state .
People used to roll up their sleeves and get on with it.But now they just whine that they can't have the life they want and moan..sickening!!!!!
!!!!!!!
Complete rubbish! Its fashionable to tell all ,that you are depressed..and get some free dosh of the state . People used to roll up their sleeves and get on with it.But now they just whine that they can't have the life they want and moan..sickening!!!!! !!!!!!! echoforum

7:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Rio25 says...

There appears to be a worrying lack of understanding about depression and mental health problems on this site, in particular echoforum, nowthatsworthknowing and itsmycommentyoucancr
yifyouwantto. Unemployment is one factor which can contribute towards depression, but there are many other factors involved. I would encourage people to research the symptoms of depression and anxiety and learn about how people are affected. If a person is suffering with such symptoms, it makes life very difficult and it is certainly not down to laziness that such people find it hard to get back into work. It's a shame that people feel the need to air such ignorant comments when there are so many people out there working to support people who suffer with mental health problems and who aim to reduce the stigma attached. For anyone who is suffering please ignore such comments, and even though it may feel like it at the moment, the feelings don't last forever. Don't be afraid to seek support, there's no shame in it, lots of people need support to get through difficult periods in life.
There appears to be a worrying lack of understanding about depression and mental health problems on this site, in particular echoforum, nowthatsworthknowing and itsmycommentyoucancr yifyouwantto. Unemployment is one factor which can contribute towards depression, but there are many other factors involved. I would encourage people to research the symptoms of depression and anxiety and learn about how people are affected. If a person is suffering with such symptoms, it makes life very difficult and it is certainly not down to laziness that such people find it hard to get back into work. It's a shame that people feel the need to air such ignorant comments when there are so many people out there working to support people who suffer with mental health problems and who aim to reduce the stigma attached. For anyone who is suffering please ignore such comments, and even though it may feel like it at the moment, the feelings don't last forever. Don't be afraid to seek support, there's no shame in it, lots of people need support to get through difficult periods in life. Rio25

10:24pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

echoforum wrote:
Complete rubbish!
Its fashionable to tell all ,that you are depressed..and get some free dosh of the state .
People used to roll up their sleeves and get on with it.But now they just whine that they can't have the life they want and moan..sickening!!!!!

!!!!!!!
Stiff upper lip, take it like a man...
[quote][p][bold]echoforum[/bold] wrote: Complete rubbish! Its fashionable to tell all ,that you are depressed..and get some free dosh of the state . People used to roll up their sleeves and get on with it.But now they just whine that they can't have the life they want and moan..sickening!!!!! !!!!!!![/p][/quote]Stiff upper lip, take it like a man... Nowthatsworthknowing

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