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24% of young people depressed about money

New figures from counselling charity Relate have revealed that almost a quarter of young people are feeling depressed as a result of worries about money.


While most of the focus is on the adult world, credit card debts, job losses and repossessions, the emotional health of the next generation is being put at serious risk by the current financial turmoil.


Some are feeling the pressure of their parent’s financial troubles. With arguments about money frequent in many homes, family relationships become strained, with the children often suffering silently. 17% say that as a direct result of this their studies have suffered and their behaviour at school or college has noticeably deteriorated.


One 16 year old says that his mum can no longer afford to support him, meaning that he is having to enter into the extremely tough job market at a young age with few qualifications and little experience. His prospects do not look good.


"I'm actually having to move out this year, because my mum can't afford to have me live there. I'm worried I won't find a house for quite a while," he said.

Another boy, aged 17, said that when his dad lost his job, the family went into freefall and he was anxious about what the future held.


"Cards were put on the table, options and that. One of them was we were going to have to move, probably to a different town. I've never moved in my life so it was going to be a big thing," he said.


Many others are concerned about their finances, with children as young as 15 worried that they will not be able to get a job when they finish school. This belief can lead children to see their studies as futile and some are studying less as a result.


One 21 year old said that her money problems drove her to self harm. Having been unemployed for 3 years, she was became so frustrated that she turned to self harming as a way to cope.


"A lot of the time I feel suicidal. I do actually self-harm sometimes, although I've stopped it now. It wasn't because of the fact that I was depressed over other things, it was because I was depressed about money,”" she said.


With the recession affecting the mental health of our youngsters, it is vital that support is offered. Debt Doctors Foundation UK is a money education charity which offers advice and counselling as well as educating young people about money and finance. By going into schools teaching children about money management from an early age, we equip them with the skills to understand and handle money wisely in the future.


By helping young people to understand and deal with the implications of the global credit crisis, we can help them to avoid feelings of desperation and confusion surrounding money matters.