A recent study from a British charity highlights the strong link between meaningful employment and hope for young people today. The BBC reports that the charity (the Prince's Trust)

says almost a third of long-term unemployed young people have contemplated taking their own lives.
Urgent action must be taken to prevent the young jobless becoming the young hopeless … the report found 9% of all respondents agreed with the statement: "I have nothing to live for" and said if 9% of all youngsters felt the same, it would equate to some 751,230 young people feeling they had nothing to live for.
… The research found that long-term unemployed young people were more than twice as likely as their peers to have been prescribed anti-depressants.
One in three (32%) had contemplated suicide, while one in four (24%) had self-harmed.
The report found 40% of jobless young people had faced symptoms of mental illness, including suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks, as a direct result of unemployment.

A stand out takeaway from the study?

Three quarters of long-term unemployed young people (72%) did not have someone to confide in, the study found.

The human need for vocational calling and meaningful work is certainly not just a "trend," but today's difficult economy means that your congregation's youth are likely struggling with their place, hope, and calling more deeply that other recent generations. How will your ministry respond?

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