What role do young people believe Universal Basic Income can play in supporting their mental health?

Elliott A. Johnson, Hannah Webster, James Morrison, Riley Thorold, Al Mathers, Daniel Nettle, Kate E. Pickett, Matthew T. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds in England reporting a longstanding mental health condition increased almost 10-fold between 1995 and 2014. Studies demonstrate an association between income and anxiety and depression, with bi-directional effects. There is also emerging evidence that cash transfers may mitigate, prevent or delay those conditions. This article presents qualitative data exploring the relationship between income and anxiety and depression and the prospective impact of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a public health measure. Data was gathered from citizen engagement workshops with 28 young people aged 14-22 from Bradford, England. We present four findings: i) participants believe that the current work and welfare system has a detrimental impact on their mental health; ii) most participants believe that UBI would have positive impacts on their mental health by virtue of reducing financial strain; iii) most participants appear to favour a UBI scheme with larger payments than have traditionally been proposed; iv) participants believe that there are non-financial benefits of UBI, such as reduction in stigma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Early online date8 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sept 2023

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