Young unemployed people are more likely to be depressed than those in work, The Prince's Trust has found.
Its fifth annual survey in to happiness found that 27% of those aged 16 to 25 who were in work reported that they felt depressed, compared to 48% of those who were not in employment, education or training (NEET).
One in ten young people found everyday life hard to deal with, while NEETs experienced levels twice as high. NEETs were also less likely to have someone to talk to about the issues that concerned them, suggesting that their disengagement worked on more than one level.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince's Trust, said: "A frightening number of unemployed young people feel unable to cope – and it is particularly tough for those who don't have a support network in place.
"We know at the Prince's Trust it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market. Life can become a demoralising downward spiral, from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult. But, with the right support, we can help get these lives on track."
The Royal Society of Public Health's chief executive, Richard Parish, said the recession was responsible for eroding confidence and ambitions. "The youth index clearly shows a worrying discrepancy between young people who are in work and those who are not.
"These unemployed young people need support to regain their self-worth and, ultimately, get them back in the workplace. With recent record-breaking youth unemployment, the work of charities like The Prince's Trust with vulnerable young people is more critical than ever."
The Prince's Trust provides support to young people to help them get work and start businesses. It also provides specialist support for those with mental health problems.