Financial and social exclusion is a reality for many young Europeans today. A lack of employment prevents many from contributing fully to their communities, damaging both individuals and society as a whole. We examine the health related causes and effects of this marginalisation, and what can and is being done to improve the situation.
In 2015, 14.8% of young Europeans aged under 25 were Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET). In 2016, the European youth unemployment rate was double that of adults. Today, the number of long-term unemployed young people and unemployed under 25-year-olds has reached 4.2 million.
Unemployed people suffer more from anxiety, depression, psychosomatic symptoms, lower self-esteem, and poorer life satisfaction. They make significantly more visits to their physicians, take more medications, and spend more days in bed sick compared to those who are employed.
Health status, and the social determinants of health are linked to the vulnerability, and employability, of young people, representing a vicious cycle with long-term impacts.
Today, on the occasion of the annual convention for inclusive growth 2017 EuroHealthNet has launched a policy précis on the links between health and youth exclusion. It looks at the situation in Europe today, and at existing and proposed European legislation in this field. It describes several national practices designed to tackle youth exclusion, and gives some policy recommendations for the future.
A joint statement on the social inclusion of young people has also been published today by EuroCarers, the European Social Network, and EuroHealthNet. It highlights the need to develop integrated services for young people, respond to the needs of young carers, and address the causes of ill health and the barriers to well-being.