Document Abstract

Closing the employment gap for young people: a toolkit for those supporting 16–25-year olds experiencing common mental health problems to gain and stay in work

Presents a toolkit to improve understanding about the link between common mental health problems and employment for 16-25-year olds, and to support effective practice by those working with young people experiencing these difficulties. Draws on a scoping review which collated official statistics and relevant existing reviews, and uses findings from focus groups and interviews with young people, employers, and mental health providers, and feedback from a health and work event and an apprenticeship scheme, and examples from practice submitted via an open call for evidence. Notes that some groups of young people are affected disproportionately by mental health issues and/or struggle to access work and that the project explored these barriers in focus groups with young carers, young LGBT people, young people who have experience of the criminal justice system and young Gypsies and Travellers. Discusses what is known on the subject. Finds that in mid-2018 there were 783,000 young people aged 16-24 who were defined as not in employment, education or training in the UK; three quarters of mental health problems start by the age of 24, and young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing can significantly affect their ability to apply for, obtain and maintain work; and the quality and security of work is extremely important for wellbeing. Identifies obstacles: created by young people’s circumstances; in relation to employment; in relation to employment support services; and in relation to mental health services. Offers practice suggestions for support services, employers, employment support services and mental health providers to consider. Provides some examples from practice and a list of available resources.


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Young People’s Health Partnership
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Health and Wellbeing Alliance

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