Half of young people have so many emotional problems they cannot focus at school, a study has found.Some 48 per cent of youngsters said that they experienced problems during their school years that prevented them from concentrating on their academic work.Of these, 46 per cent did not talk to anyone about their problems, mainly because they did not want other people to know that they were struggling.More than half (58 per cent) did not think that asking for help would solve the problem.The latest report from the Youth Index, which gauges how students feel about a range of topics from home life to health, showed that mental health is at its lowest level since the Index was first commissioned. This report paints a deeply concerning picture of a generation who feel their ability to shape their own future is slipping away from themDame Martina Milburn, chief executive at The Prince’s Trust It showed the current political climate is troubling young people with 58 per cent saying that recent political events had made them feel anxious about their future, with 41 per cent feeling more anxious than they did a year ago.Dame Martina said: “The single most important thing we can do to empower these young people is to help them into a job, an education course or on to a training programme.”Now, more than ever, we must work together to provide the support and opportunities they need to unlock a brighter future.”The Prince’s Trust has launched a new mental health strategy to give all its staff the confidence to deal with young people’s mental health needs, supported by the Royal Mail Group, as part of its ongoing work to help young people overcome emotional well-being challenges. The single most important thing we can do to empower these young people is to help them into a job, an education course or onto a training programmeDame Martina Milburn The Index showed there are many contributing factors to students’ mental health problems Half of young people said they feel the pressures of getting a job are greater than they were a year ago and more than a third said they did not feel in control of their job prospects.The eighth Index, based on a survey of 2,215 young people aged 16 to 25, revealed many feel their circumstances are trapping them.Dame Martina Milburn, chief executive at the Prince’s Trust said: “This report paints a deeply concerning picture of a generation who feel their ability to shape their own future is slipping away from them.”It’s shocking how many feel so desperate about their situation and it is vital that we support them to develop the confidence and coping skills they need to succeed in life.”The rise of living costs is also a major issue for young people, with 37 per cent of those who felt their lives were out of their control worried their living costs are going up faster than their wages and salary. Of those who do not feel they are in control of their lives, 61 per cent said they felt this was because they lack self-confidence, and that this holds them back.A range of factors that may contribute to young people not feeling in control of their lives have been highlighted by the Index.One in 10 young people said they did not know anyone who “really cares” about them, 45 per cent felt stressed about body image and 37 per cent said they felt stressed about coping with work or school, the report found.The Youth Index showed that many feel confused, and 44 per cent of those surveyed claimed they don’t know what to believe because they read conflicting things in the media about the economy. Of those surveyed, 42 per cent said traditional goals such as buying a house or getting a steady job were unrealistic and 34 per cent said they thought they will have a worse standard of living than their parents did.Almost a fifth said they “don’t believe they can change their circumstances if they want to” and 16 per cent said they “think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try”.Prof Louise Arseneault, ESRC mental health leadership fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, said: “Given the profound uncertainty surrounding recent political events and the fact that young people face the worst job prospects in decades, it’s not surprising to read that one in four young people aged 16 to 25 don’t feel in control of their lives.“Although it’s obviously alarming that these concerns play on young minds, it’s encouraging to see that young people have an interest in actively shaping their own future.” This year’s Index will help inform the development of the policy and programmes designed to address the issues facing young people todayDavid Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group Students visit during open day at Queens University of Belfast To help vulnerable young people access the appropriate care at the earliest opportunity mental health support will be embedded in all the Trust’s employability and personal development programmes.The Trust will partner with relevant mental health services and organisations to build a suite of training resources with the ambition to locate mental health related services at Prince’s Trust Centres.During this year The Trust will support 60,000 disadvantaged young people to develop confidence and skills to succeed in life.Three in four young people supported by the Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group EMEA, said: “We have seen first-hand how the work of organisations such as the Prince’s Trust can transform young lives.”Macquarie is committed to investing in young people and we hope the findings of this year’s Index will help inform the development of the policy and programmes designed to address the issues facing young people today.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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