Mental health in an adolescent can damage more than just physical, emotional and spiritual outcomes in life, but can also deeply affect financial livelihood. “…Distressed adolescents are vulnerable to unemployment,” says Mark Egan of the Behavioural Science Centre at the University of Stirling.
A factor for future unemployment, regardless of social or economic background, is a person who experienced emotional problems in his or her adolescence. This conclusion was arrived to in an academic study down by the University of Stirling.
Mental Health and Joblessness are Related
The employment data used in the study is over a range of 12 years on 7,000 American. The numbers found a clear relationship to people who felt nervous or depressed during their adolescence as being those who experienced the highest level of unemployment in the beginning of their adult years.
These adolescents with depression and anxiety were 32% more likely unemployed. These particular numbers also extended to brothers and sisters in the same household, meaning that the emotional impact carries a high price. The Great Recession of 2007 also caused a larger spike in these individuals’ joblessness.
The Economic Benefit of Treating Adolescent Mental Health Disorders
If mental health issues were treated earlier in life, the economic benefits couldn’t be clearer. Researcher Mark Egan goes on to say that, “Widening access to effective treatments for early life distress could lead to large economic returns by helping individuals into employment and increasing their lifetime earnings.”
Of all the mental health disorders, depression is the most common among teens in the United States Nearly 3 million youth ages 12-17 had at one or more major depressive episode in 2014. Between 10 and 15 percent of all teens have shown some symptoms of depression.
Researchers of this Stirling study also wrote that emotionally distraught teens may have difficulties finding employment as job hunting can be a “demanding process requiring reserves of perseverance, motivation and self-esteem.” Beyond that, another difficulty lay with employers who are prejudiced against people with mental health disorders.
Despite these other reasons, this study brings to light the country’s need for seeking mental health treatment for adolescents. They will thrive later in life and so will the economy.