Recently, I heard a statistic that really bothered me. It was that possibly as high as 40% of adults under the age of 25 in Europe were unemployed.
All over the United States as well as many other countries are showing increasing rates of mental health problems in youth. Simultaneously, we are seeing higher and higher rates of unemployment among this same age group. Are they related? It is highly likely.
One study from a Swedish University showing up in the European Journal of Public Health in December 2010 reports that being out of the workforce and not in education was associated with severe mental disorders. The risk of being hospitalized for depression was more than double and the risk of being hospitalized for self-harm and alcohol-related disorder was tripled among this population. Additionally, drug abuse was seven times more prevalent among economically inactive young adults.
From this study I believe it is urgent that our governmental leaders consider all angles of an issue when considering health care reform. Are we undertaking health care reform policies that as a result stifles the economy and puts more and more people out of work that as an end result excascerbates the original problem? I hope that we have leaders that are smarter than this!