Mental Health at Work: Gen Z and Millennials are not OK

I’m fascinated (and not in a good way) by a new study out of the U.K., which found that Gen Z and Millennial workers are missing one day a WEEK, every week, due to mental health.

Check out this article from Fortune Magazine for more info.

I can’t imagine the numbers are markedly different in the US, and the results? Massive losses in productivity, double the rates of depression for workers under 30, higher rates of anxiety, burnout and fatigue, all exacerbated for workers making lower incomes.

One day of work every week. BUT WAIT, those younger workers aren’t taking huge numbers of sick days. While they are missing an average of SIXTY days of productive work each year, they’re only taking off an average of six sick days  per year.

Nope, they’re at work, they’re just not able to do good work. They’re checked out, and they’re suffering.

If you’re tempted here to scoff about snowflakes, and comment about how YOUR generation is tougher, well, stop it. It’s not relevant, it’s not apples to oranges, and it’s not helping.

What does help? Well, it seems workplace wellness benefits are helpful, according to the study, for 85% of those who used them. But only 25% of surveyed workers took advantage of those benefits!!! This completely resonates with my experiences, speaking to audiences about workplace mental health.

It’s likely that too many of YOUR team members are afraid to talk about their mental health struggles because they are afraid of negative consequences (see scoffing, above…) and they don’t believe their managers have their back.

So let’s change the conversation, change the culture and change lives. We can do better.

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