Rising healthcare bills related to youth unemployment could be slashed if young people were given better support and advice, a report shows.
NHS budgets are feeling the strain thanks to illness brought on by youth unemployment, according to youth advice and counselling charity Youth Access.
Stress from unemployment-related issues causes 750,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 to become mentally or physically ill each year.
Problems that lead to physical or mental ill health include debt, homelessness and crime, according to the report The Outcomes and Impact of Youth Advice - the Evidence.
And NHS treatment from hospitals, GPs and psychiatric services is sought by more than a third of these people at a cost of £250 million annually.
The counselling and youth advice charity said that more money needed to be invested in services that could reduce the stress-related issues.
Once their problems had been tackled around 70% said their stress levels were reduced and they were able to return to work or school
Youth Access director Barbara Rayment said: “Unless urgent action is taken now to put in place the vital advice, counselling and support services young people will need over the next few years, they - and we - will pay a heavy price.”