Millennial Mental Health

“Lazy”. “Cry babies”. “Technology-dependent”. “Entitled”. “Self-absorbed”. Millennials (also known as Generation Y) have been on the receiving end of these criticisms too often. For those of you belonging to Generation Y (~18-33 years of age), these erroneous generalizations may unfortunately ring a bell.

The generational shaming and finger pointing has been hot in the media recently. Certain sources are cautioning against the hiring of millennials, stating we are too interested in having fun to be engaged in doing our work. Others add to this notion by declaring that our lack of participation in the workforce is only related to our laziness, and has nothing to do with the unemployment rate trends. This attitude has become so widespread that even millennials are criticizing millennials, and in large numbers too.

These blanket disapprovals of individuals currently in their teens, twenties, and thirties, do not come without a price. Earlier this year, an article in the Global News reported on an astonishing figure (from an Ipsos poll) about millennial mental health:

“53% of Canadian Millennials are at high risk of developing a mental health issue”.

Compared to the statistics for Generation X and baby boomers (35% and 14% respectively), this number raises a red flag.

The “Stress in America” survey carried out by the American Psychological Association found that Millennials are one of the most stressed out age groups. Given the aforementioned Ipsos poll figure, it may be safe to assume that Canadian millennials are similarly stressed. More importantly, this survey found that large percentages of this age group engage in activities such as surfing the internet, napping, and drinking to cope with stress. Many of these behaviours give others a reason to see us in a negative light. This type of attitude fuels stereotypes about millennials and makes us seem like a less desirable age group to employ.

What most articles out there fail to address are the positive qualities that we bring to the table. Many of us are constantly in search of our “dream” career, or we are constantly shaping our current circumstances to make them as desirable as possible. To some this may sound like we just want to have fun, but in reality this would yield a more engaged worker. We are computer literate and well acquainted with technology, and pardon the truism, but technology does seem to be the way of the future.  Our hyperconnectedness on the internet stems from the desire to learn of what is going on locally and globally; this can hardly be equated to being self-absorbed. Maybe it’s time to give up on bullying a whole cohort of the population based on a set of incorrect assumptions. 

Do you think Generation Y is being incorrectly labeled? Would you hire a Millennial at your workplace? Share your with us thoughts! 

References

American Psychological Association (2015). Stress in America: Paying with out health. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2014/stress-report.pdf

Chai, C. (2015, April 30). Canadian millennials hit hardest by mental health woes: Poll. Global News. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1968775/canadian-millennials-hit-hardest-by-mental-health-woes-poll/

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