Young Adults’ Mental Health Catastrophe – Just 10% Love Themselves

The UK faces a mental health catastrophe as only 10 per cent of young adults love themselves completely, reveals blistering new research from Direct Line Insurance and mental health charity Mind. Young adults are struggling with their mental health with 95 per cent feeling anxious in the last 12 months and over a fifth (21 per cent) experiencing these feelings all the time. Almost half of young adults (46 per cent) have felt low often or all the time over this time period. Despite support services being readily available, 6% of young people said that they feel uncomfortable discussing their mental health with anyone, with 26% of 18-year-olds not willing to speak about the topic at all.

When they do need a mental lift, 59 per cent of young adults turn to music to improve their mood and for a quarter (25 per cent) of this generation it makes them feel less lonely. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of young adults say musicians like are a force for good in opening up discussions about mental health, with Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi seen as inspirations. Music can be a vital outlet, as half (50 per cent) of young people experiencing poor mental health find it difficult discussing this with others.             

Young people are experiencing a sense of dislocation, with almost three quarters (70 per cent) of young adults feeling lonely even when around peers, friends, classmates, work colleagues. They also have less energy than they did previously, 83 per cent saying this is true in the last 12 months.

To highlight the link between music and a positive uplift in mood, Direct Line and Mind have worked with mental health advocate and London-based rapper Marc Jones, who has over five million music streams, to produce a new track, Day by Day, which encourages young people to be open about their mental health. It is free to download across all major streaming platforms for the month of April.

The track, developed by Marc Jones (30), is an inspirational track to encourage young people to love themselves and to highlight there are support networks when they are struggling. The track is produced by London-based producer, RP9, whose notable collaborations include Ed Sheeran and Big Narstie.

Sam Taylor, Marketing Director, at Direct Line said:

“The mental health of young adults is incredibly important and many are struggling to navigate these complex times.  Understanding the issues faced by a generation of young adults we partnered with Marc Jones an inspirational musician to develop a track encouraging young people to open up about their mental health, whether that’s in the car when the song plays on the radio or at home, with friends streaming the track.”

Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind said:

“We are deeply concerned by the findings of this research – the fact that only 10% of young adults love themselves highlights the urgent need for support and resources to help this young generation navigate the complex challenges they face.

We are excited to be part of the efforts of Direct Line and Marc Jones in producing the track ‘Day by Day’ to encourage young people to open up about their mental health and seek the support when needed.”

Niamh O’Connor, 23 from Worcester, said:

“From a young age music has always been a part of my life so when I was diagnosed with anorexia over six years ago and was hospitalised for the first time, I found a lot of comfort in music.

“Whenever I felt upset or anxious, I would sit down at the piano in the hospital and play. Music became the only thing that helped take my mind off everything that was going on in my life.

“I was never one to talk openly about my feelings, but my therapist helped me to open up by asking me to play a piece of music that reflected my inner thoughts. Now I am able to use my experiences to create conversations with friends and we discuss how song melodies and lyrics resonate with us. This gives us the opportunity to talk openly about our mental health and support one another through music.”

Marc Jones continued:

“The purpose of my music has always been to lift spirits and encourage young people. This new track I released with Mind and Direct Line does just this. I personally have always turned to music when I am feeling low, it really helps and so does having charities like Mind, for expert support.”

The track Day By Day is available to stream on all major streaming platforms. Please find it on Spotify here.

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