The Princes Trust research shows that “ that long-term unemployed young people are more than twice as likely as their peers to have been prescribed anti-depressants. One in three have contemplated suicide, while one in four have self-harmed.
The findings are based on interviews with 2,161 16-to-25-year-olds and show that 40 per cent of jobless young people have faced these symptoms of mental illness – including suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks – as a direct result of unemployment.
Long-term unemployed young people are also more than twice as likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for.”
Sigmund Freud stated that “love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” Many of us would not be surprised at this summary. To love and be loved is one of the central parts of our culture. Books, movies, media are full of references to love and being loved. We all need love in some form or other.
To be occupied in something worthwhile is also part of our culture. To be creative or fulfilled is what 21st century parents dream for their children. The emphasis on education and good schools in the UK is a constant talking point. Being educated can mean work can be fulfilling and a good living earned too. Yet how many people are happy at work? How many people work to be stuck in poverty?
Are we defined by work? When you first meet someone do you ask them what they do? It seems to always be in work, and be happy in work is difficult to achieve. If this is the case why do we define ourselves by what we do but not by who we are? Capitalism ensures that, depending where we are on the economic cycle, there are still a number of people unable to find work. Across the world this is multiplied by whole sections of the world’s poor unable to find work.
Again perhaps it is the nature of groups. The more powerful – those in work – define the experience of work. Wilfred Bion wrote in his book Experiencing Groups that in all groups there are two basic groups. The work group which is to do with the primary task (eg of being in work). And the basic assumption group describes the underlying forces that defines the behaviour of the group (eg only some people are in work!)
However loud politicians and charities protest there will always be unemployment and poverty.
The only thing we try to control is that we are not one of them.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2014
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.