Implementation of the research part of the project “L.I.K.E – Life Investment is the Key to Employment“.


According to the World Health Organization, four of the six leading causes of disability are due to neuropsychiatric disorders (depression, alcohol abuse, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Project L.I.K.E. examines precisely this growing part of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 with mental health problems, as well as the inability of the conventional methods of employment to meet the specific needs of this target group.

The broad partnership within the consortium works internationally, seeking common European solutions for social inclusion and sustainable employment for young people with mental health problems. International studies conducted in Bulgaria, Latvia, Hungary and Ireland will provide the necessary data to create an innovative multidimensional approach for active inclusion of the target group into the labor market.

The results of the survey are presented in several categories including demographics, work experience, marital status, interests and health.


The predominating part of the Bulgarian respondents choose career as their main interest. The second most cited are friends, followed by family. The next one deemed important is social media. Those four leading spheres of interest show that young people stay in their comfort zone where their material and social needs are met. Education and training are viewed as attractive by less than half of the participants. The interest in that field shows that young people realize the need to broaden their knowledge in order to start a successful career and lead a better life.








Irish people most commonly cite as their main field of interest education and social media. Also, they are less invested in making friends compared to their interest in family. Unlike Bulgarians, Hungarians and Latvians, their desire to start work is considerably lower. The Roma participants often are closer to their extended family compared to the Irish.


The main interests of young Hungarians with psychological problems are family and friends. Every third person admits to being addicted to social media. Youngsters are more drawn to traveling and nature as opposed to education and training.



The Latvian participants, in comparison with the Bulgarian and Hungarian, put first the job aspect, the second place is occupied by family and relative and third place is taken by social media. Unlike countries such as Bulgaria, there is a big interest in videogames. Sports are more a more desirable field than friends.






The results of the study show that by large the interests of youth in different countries are similar but there is discrepancy in their ranking. Where Bulgarians, Latvians and Hungarians are passionate about job opportunities, the Irish don’t find this to be of central importance. Another difference can be found in the frequency of the answer “friends” as a source of interest – in countries such as Bulgaria they occupy one of the first places, whereas Latvians rank them lower than social media, sport and videogames.  Other than work, family also seem to be of big interest, which may be connected to the fact that a large number of the participants still live with their parents.