Sunderland woman shares personal experience of impact of pandemic on young people’s mental health and confidence
Research from the The Prince’s Trust has revealed that over half – 55 per cent – of young people in the North East feel they’ve “lost confidence in themselves” as a result of the Covid pandemic
The survey also revealed 44 per cent of the region’s 16 to 25-year-olds were “unsure about how they’ll get their life back on track”.
With this demographic’s jobs having been hardest hit by the pandemic, many young people are concerned about their career and employment prospects.
The research, conducted by Censuswide, found that only one in five (21 per cent) of young people in the North East felt confident in their future career, and only one in five (20 per cent) believed they have “the confidence to go after the job they want”.
A quarter of young people surveyed were worried they don’t have the skills for the jobs that are available to them, and almost half (49 per cent) said that over the course of the pandemic, they’ve lost confidence in their ability “to do the job they are trained to do”.
One young person who has struggled with her mental wellbeing both before and during the pandemic is Holly Sadler from Sunderland, who had been unable to work for five years.
However, with the help of The Prince’s Trust, Holly 24, has now secured a job as a porter at Sunderland Royal Hospital, and hopes her story can help inspire other people in a similar situation.
She said: “I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression from a very young age. Just before the pandemic started, I’d only just got used to going out to public places and visiting friends and family.
"When we went into lockdown, I cut myself off from my friends and family and was stuck between the same four walls day in and day out, feeling trapped, lonely, and helpless.
“I’ve always wanted to work for the NHS but my mental health prevented it. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did a course with The Prince’s Trust, and now work for the Sunderland Royal Hospital as a porter.
"I love my new job and my mental health has improved so much. I now have a new lease on life and I can’t wait to see where my journey will take me.”
Lucy Gifford, Head of Service Delivery for the North East at The Prince’s Trust, added: “Today’s research shows that without increased support for young people in the North East, the legacy of the pandemic will be a substantial crisis of confidence in our future workforce.
“Young people have faced significant disruption to their employment and education, at a time when our economy and jobs market is in flux. As we look forward into 2022, there is still a huge amount to do to restore young people’s confidence and rebuild the skills they need for the jobs available now, and the jobs of the future.
“Every day at The Prince’s Trust, we meet talented young people looking for opportunities to work and train. It is in all of our interests to support the younger generation into sustainable jobs, to help rebuild our economy.”