Study Shows Young People Take More Mental Health Sick Days Than Older Colleagues

A study has shown that due to mental health issues rising among young people in the UK, young workers are more likely to take sick days compared to their older colleagues.

Young Workers Take More Sick Days

A recent study looking into which age group is more likely to take sick days from work has revealed that younger people, aged below 40, take significantly more sick days than those above 40.

Financial worries have been shown to be affecting the mental health of young people in the UK, with many worried about their ability to buy a house and save money.

Housing Prices Soar

In the UK, the housing market has soared in costs, with the average house price rising at double the speed of the average workers’ wage in the UK, showing reason for young people to be worried.

Official data revealed a concerning rise in reported mental health issues among the youth when compared to their older counterparts, which may be larger due to a change in culture regarding mental health in recent years.

Not only that, but employment is going down for young people with mental health problems, with 21% of 18 to 24-year-olds not in work between 2018 and 2022 because of their mental health problems.

In 2022, 40% of employed 18 to 24-year-olds with mental health problems were in low-paid jobs, compared to 35% of healthier peers.

Young People Report Rise In Mental Health Disorders

According to the data, 34% of individuals aged 18 to 24 reported symptoms of mental disorders in 2021/22, a significant increase from 24% in 2000.

The study urged the government to work together across parties to ensure that the UK doesn’t experience a “lost generation” of employees who struggle so much with their mental health that they lose the ability to contribute to society.

The study showed a gender disparity, indicating that young women are one-and-a-half times more likely to experience poor mental health compared to young men.

Academic Performance

The study found a substantial impact on academic performance, with children experiencing poor mental health aged 11 to 14 being three times more likely not to pass five GCSEs, including Maths and English, compared to healthier counterparts.

Young people with mental health problems face challenges in education, as evidenced by the research showing a correlation between ill health and lower educational qualifications.

Researcher Louise Mutton argued that alarm bells begin ringing for the Resolution Foundation when “poor mental health comes together with poor education outcomes”.

The research showed that specifically, 79% of 18 to 24-year-olds who are “workless” due to ill health have qualifications at GCSE level or below.

Mutton argued that “economic consequences of poor mental health are starkest for young people who don’t go to university,” which they are doing less due to mental health issues affecting their ability to study to their potential.

Unemployment Due to Mental Health

Mutton revealed that “one in three young non-graduates with a common mental disorder” are currently unemployed, showing how the rise in mental health issues affects someone’s work rate.

Poor mental health has implications for school attendance, with figures showing that one in eight of 11 to 16-year-olds with known mental health issues missed more than 15 days of school in the autumn term of 2023. 

The factor of a mental health issue in these children is significant because only one in 50 kids who did not have a known mental health issue reported the same amount of school days missed that period.

All these factors are affecting young people’s ability to find a job and gain income that would allow them to be free of financial worries, showing a cycle of poor mental health, financial worries and unemployment.

The post Study Shows Young People Take More Mental Health Sick Days Than Older Colleagues first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / eldar nurkovic.

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