Young workers and mental health

Young members tell us that mental health is one of the major issues affecting them both at work and at home. UNISON believes mental health is a trade union issue and UNISON’s young members are actively campaigning for workplaces that are more mentally healthy.

In May 2022 we surveyed all UNISON’s young members on mental health and found that a shocking 81% had experienced a mental health problem in the last year.

  • The main mental health problems reported by young members were depression (88.2%) or anxiety (87.1%), but other mental health problems included anorexia, bulimia and disordered eating, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • 19.8% said their mental health problems were related to work, and 59.3% said they were ‘partially’ related to their work.
  • Stress and workload have a major impact on young members’ mental health: over two-thirds of of young members said they “often feel stressed at work” and 59.7% agreed with the statement “No matter how hard I work, it’s difficult to get everything done”. A similar proportion (57.5%) said that they “find it difficult to switch off from work at the end of the day”.
  • Bullying and discrimination are also factors: 21.6% of young members said that they had been bullied at work, and 20.6% agreed that that had “experienced discrimination at work”. Over a quarter (28.6%) agreed with the statement “Staff are not treated with dignity”.

Read the full report here