Can UK Plc help solve the teen crisis?

Teenagers have become “playthings in the hands of Big Tech”. If business doesn’t act now, employers will face “unprecedented workforce needs” in the future. Jennifer Small investigates.

by Jennifer Small

Teenagers – the youngest of GenZ – have already lived through an A-B-C of disasters: austerity, Brexit and Covid. Now they face manifestations of climate change and the uncertainty of overseas wars. Little wonder they are plagued by mental health crises and lack confidence in their future career paths. 

This week [5-11 Feb] marks the 10th year of Children’s Mental Health Week, launched by youth charity Place2Be in 2015. And it’s more needed than ever. Today’s youngsters are 50% more likely to have a mental health problem than seven years ago, according to the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2023 report by NHS Digital.

The report also found one in five (23%) 17-19-year-olds in England had a probable mental health disorder in 2023, up from one in ten in 2017. Among 8-16 year olds, 20% had a probable mental health disorder in 2023, up from 12.1% in 2017.

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