Youth Employment Survey: youth unemployment meets mental health
YES: Youth Employment Study
Based in the Disability and Health Unit at the University of Melbourne, YES is the first study to survey a large group of young people accessing employment programs. They needed a bold, fun study brand to engage otherwise disengaged and marginalised young people.
Employment is recognised as a key social determinant of health and is fundamentally linked to a person’s physical and mental health through factors such as financial security, social support and status, and personal growth and self-esteem. Young people are at greater risk of experiencing other adverse work circumstances, such as job strain, unwanted sexual advances and workplace bullying.
Emerging adulthood is increasingly recognised as a life stage of considerable individual, social and economic change, particularly as young people leave education and move into employment. This time period coincides with the peak age of onset for many mental health problems, with marked increases in prevalence between the ages of 16 and 24 years. Research also suggests that early onset of mental health problems increases a young person’s risk of poorer educational and employment outcomes in adulthood.
YES recognises the importance of investigating successful transitions into employment for young people, especially given that the onset of the majority of mental disorders occurs in adolescence and early adulthood – coinciding with young people are entering into the workforce.