Skip to content Skip to footer

Common mental health issues in the young are rising. Citizens Advice can do more.

Tish cropped

Common mental health disorders are rising fast among young people. Why is this? Tish asks if a dedicated Citizens Advice service could help solve the problem.
Tish Ahabwe Mukankusi is a Trainee Assessor at Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell. (3 minutes)

Common mental health disorders including depression, anxiety and bipolar are rising among young people at an alarming rate. There are calls for urgent intervention. 

The main question should be why are the numbers so high? One substantial reason is the cost-of-living crisis. 

Think about the effect on people aged 15 to 24. Basically this is the most crucial development stage for any growing young person. It’s when one is trying to figure out how to make the bright future they dreamed of when they were little.


The cost of living becomes an issue when you become an adult or even reach work, college or university age at 16+. You begin to face the realities of life especially financial ones. You meet questions and problems you didn’t encounter before while sheltered by parents or carers. 

There is a reason why universities are the hot beds for these disorders. Most of these young people have just left home and are now trying to start a new adulthood life in a new place. Their problems can arise gradually but then escalate until they feel they can’t cope up with all the responsibilities. They may have student finance but the situation can become overwhelming, especially for students from a low income-based background. 

jobs fair
CAEE colleagues regularly promote volunteering and our free confidential advice service at local schools and colleges.

The shock of trying to juggle and balance everything can bring worries that harbour stress for later in life. They need help to avoid more serious disorders. What is the most effective way forward? And who should step up? 

Citizens Advice Gen Z? 

I think Citizens Advice could and should develop and launch a brand new sub-service for young people. Call it CA Gen Z!

They could create programs and educate young people still in school or college, at work or online. They have massive experience of the whole dynamic of life outside school. They know what so many of the problems can be when you become an adult and how to deal with them. 

Most important, the problems they help with can often make mental health issues worse or even cause them in the first place.

Different sessions could happen from 14 years up to 20 or beyond. The younger generation will not only acquire the formal education but also life skills and these will generally help so many. This could be effective because most boroughs and counties have local Citizens Advice offices who could take charge of schools in their area. 

Importantly the service would be for everyone. It wouldn’t only help young people from middle- or low-income families. If you’re from a better off background you too could need help on how to manage and be a good responsible adult. 

What to cover?

Part of the program would cover the main utilities: how to pay bills, manage loans and debts, especially if you have arranged direct debits and they collide time-wise. How to assess your income and proper spending, different saving schemes. How to save and what opportunities the government offers for example to help younger people get a mortgage. How to relocate in case you need to move to minimise costs if London gets too expensive. 

Teaching them about their different rights whether when they buy goods or even about housing. What laws or policies should the government put in place to help the youth from all different backgrounds and ethnicities? 

My colleagues at Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell are already doing great work with local young people. They are spreading the word in school financial literacy sessions and college events. Find out more here.

Other sessions could be about organisations that help with mental well-being and how to contact them so as one doesn’t feel neglected in the busy world. 

Young people need knowledge and help no one is willing or able to offer at the moment. The world is so busy and expects so much with events and responsibilities. Thus more and more young people will appreciate the relevance and existence of Citizens Advice and what they do, their aims and objectives for a better happier society. 

This could definitely change the perspective of so many born after the millennium. And definitely help cut the number having to deal with mental health disorders. 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on the Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" then you are consenting to this.