Homelessness, feelings of marginalisation and a lack of education and employment are pushing young Europeans to the brink of a mental health crisis, a new study by Eurofound shows.
Eurofound is the EU Agency for the improvement of living and working conditions.
According to the study, Sweden (41%) tops the list of youngsters “at-risk of depression” based on WHO guidelines, followed by Estonia (27%) and Malta.
At the overall EU level, 14% of young adults are at the risk of depression. Four percent of people between the ages of 15 and 24 years are already suffering from chronic depression.
The report uses both European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) data from 2016, and existing data from national and European level. It highlights the impact of the economic crisis on young people.
In Sweden, for instance, there was a 60% increase in the number of children who found themselves in emergency accommodations between 2011 and 2017. In the Netherlands, the number of children who became homeless from 2013 to 2018 jumped 60% . In countries like France, Denmark and Ireland, one in three homeless people is a child.
In addition, three out of 10 children were at risk of poverty.
Apart from financial reasons, depression is gendered according to the study. Young women are more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than young men. Denmark, Germany, Ireland and France, for instance, showed significant gender gaps.
Young people are a dwindling group in Europe and the report says that care must be given to offer support to them. It says that European youth should have access to social facilities and mental and physical health services.