Unemployment and mental health issues in Kashmiri youth

Unemployment among educated youth is one of the major social problems in both parts of Jammu and Kashmir. In recent years, the unemployment rates have continued to increase, due to insufficient job creations.

Various studies have found that the problem of unemployment gains more importance because of higher incidence of unemployment among the educated section of youth in the state. Due to limited job opportunities available for educated youth in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian held Jammu and Kashmir, the number of unemployed youth has been increasing in every passing year.

Unemployment increases the psychological toll on families and can also increase stress and other negative effects of families which can exacerbate one’s overall mental health. The research shows that unemployed have higher level of anxiety, depression, loss of behavioural/emotional control and psychological distress and have lower level of emotional ties, life satisfaction and general positive affect in comparison to their counter parts.

The research also shows that high prevalence and associated risk factors of depression, anxiety, and behaviour problems among job seekers. This indicates that preventive workforce initiatives aimed at better alignment between educational channel and job markets are needed. Furthermore, early mental support and resilience training programs during higher education are needed to potentially mitigate the elevated risk of mental issues among unemployed youth in Kashmir.