One in ten young in Northern Ireland 'cannot cope with life'

More than 2,000 young people between 16 and 25 were interviewed across the UK Many of those who are unemployed or not in education or training can feel unable to cope

One in 10 young people in Northern Ireland feel they cannot cope with day-to-day life, according to a survey.

The Prince's Trust Youth Index indicated young people not in employment, education or training were significantly more likely to feel unable to cope than their peers.

More than 2,000 young people between 16 and 25 were interviewed across the UK.

The report indicated more than 16% of NI youth did not have someone to talk to about problems while growing up.

The statistics are contained in the charity's fifth annual Youth Index, which gauges young people's wellbeing across a range of areas from family life to physical health.

Ian Jeffers, regional director of The Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland, said: "A frightening number of unemployed young people in Northern Ireland feel unable to cope - and it is particularly tough for those who don't have a support network in place.

"We know at The Prince's Trust that it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market.

"Life can become a demoralising downward spiral - from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult. But, with the right support, we can help get these lives on track across the region."

According to the research, those not in employment, education or training are significantly less happy across all areas of their lives.

The report revealed that while 21% of young people in Northern Ireland felt down or depressed "always" or "often", this tended to be much higher among the unemployed and those not in education or training.

'Worrying discrepancy'

The report revealed that more than one in seven young people living in Northern Ireland believe their prospects have been "permanently damaged" by the recession and one in seven felt they had no future due to the economic crisis.

This was significantly more likely among those not in employment, education or training.

Richard Parish, chief executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, said the index showed a "worrying discrepancy" between young people who are in work and those who are not.

"These unemployed young people need support to re-gain their self-worth and, ultimately, get them back in the workplace," he said.

Last year, the Prince's Trust worked with more than 3,000 disadvantaged young people across Northern Ireland giving them the skills, confidence and motivation to move into the workplace.

More than three in four young people supported by the youth charity move into work, education or training.

Out of a total of 2,136 adults interviewed for the survey, 87 were from Northern Ireland.

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