Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Is stress the cause of Gen Z’s poor mental health?
Evidence of generational affinities in mental health has emerged from the latest government figures on the suicide rate.
Gen Z, or those born between 1995 and 2014, are 10% more likely to commit suicide than members of other age groups.
The Association of University Teachers (AUT) says this has implications for their relationships with their parents and adults at large.
In a new report, the AUT say these young people have long-term mental health concerns “which have not yet been recognised”.
Research into young people’s mental health has been slowed by the Brexit vote in June 2016, say the AUT.
“This is a problem that cuts across age, race, class and gender – no one gets off scot-free,” said Timothy Hollingsworth, the AUT’s government programme officer.
The report released on Tuesday covers all education providers, from local authority to university to further education colleges and further education sixth-form schools.
In the end the people who used to be supported by the “education maintenance allowance” had become in many cases ‘working poor’, said the AUT, adding that many of these people had also been unable to keep a full-time job due to burn-out.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Theresa May’s government has been criticised for cutting £140m from the Youth Training Fund
What are the key points from the AUT report?
The AUT has already warned that cutting youth fund funding will have a negative impact on young people’s mental health.
On Tuesday it discussed the government’s three year plan to spend “government cash more effectively” but criticised the lack of leadership across the Department for Education and Department for Health as well as the work of the Trades Union Congress, which is organising a mental health conference this month.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for telling MPs in September that only five suicide cases per million in England were recorded in 2014, while a study last year suggested suicide was one of the most preventable causes of death in England and Wales.
The AUT report also raised concerns about the Prime Minister’s leadership style and the disruption caused by last week’s resignation of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – another of the “generation that came of age during the 2008 financial crisis”.
Some 600 school care workers were called to collect the bodies of people who took their own lives in 2016, says the AUT, and the report mentions a “considerable increase” in the number of school counsellors and others on autism spectrum disorder who are on anti-depressants.
Children’s Mental Health Week runs from 26 July to 1 August and is spearheaded by the Mental Health Foundation. Find out more about the events here.
Dr Philip Spalding, Director of Mental Health at University College London Hospitals, said, “We know that mental health needs to be prioritised, but the UK remains the fourth most under-resourced country in the European Union.”
Philip Spalding, Director of Mental Health at University College London Hospitals, said: “We know that mental health needs to be prioritised, but the UK remains the fourth most under-resourced country in the European Union.”