A FIFTH of long-term unemployed young people in the UK feel they have nothing to live for, according to a study for the Prince's Trust charity.

The research was based on interviews with 2,161 16 to 25-year-olds.

Of these, 281 were not in employment, education or training, and 166 had been unemployed for more than six months.

The report found nine per cent of those surveyed agreed with the statement: ‘I have nothing to live for’.

For young people not in education, employment or training, the percentage of those agreeing with the statement rose to 21 per cent. The research found that long-term unemployed young people were more than twice as likely to have been prescribed anti-depressants, while one in three had contemplated suicide, and one in four had self-harmed.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince's Trust, said: "Unemployment is proven to cause devastating, long-lasting mental health problems among young people.

“Thousands wake up every day believing that life isn't worth living, after struggling for years in the dole queue.

“If we fail to act, there is a real danger that these young people will become hopeless, as well as jobless.”