Why Millennials Are Struggling With Mental Health At Work

By Sarah LandrumCONTRIBUTOR, I write about how millennials can be happier at work.

This article has been re-shared from it’s original source, Forbes.com


Americans do not take mental health seriously enough. According to the NIMH, as many as 45% of mental health cases go untreated in this country, at a total potential cost of $147 billion per year.

These statistics are devastating and also not widely known — but they’re not terribly controversial. What is controversial — or at least uncomfortable — is the idea that millennials suffer from more mental health issues than any previous generation. This challenges some of the common assertions that millennials are entitled, lazy and lack a work ethic or respect for The Dollar.

Could it be that they’re simply more susceptible to a world in transition?

Depression Affects Millennials In The Workplace

Some of what we know about the mental health of millennials is thanks to the fact that we’ve now got five very different generations of Americans mingling together in the labor force. This gives us a convenient — and, frankly, stark — look at how each of these groups of people have dealt with the overlap of mental health and gainful employment.

Millennials report depression in higher numbers than any previous generation, according to Mashable, at 20%, or one in five. The runners-up are baby boomers and generation X, with 16% apiece.

But what does this actually mean, in concrete terms? What’s the fallout of a situation where one in five members of an entire generation report depression symptoms? To begin with, let’s dispel with the idea that depression is “merely” “feeling sad.” Depression is a recognized and recursive disease, as misunderstood as it is debilitating. And while it can be treated, there is not yet a cure.

Most frequently, depression results in absenteeism — but there’s another class of symptom that’s a little less obvious, and may play an unfortunate role in perpetuating some of the uncharitable generalizations that follow millennials around. Mashable says more than two-thirds of depressed millennials report that, while their symptoms may not be severe enough to keep them home, their capacity for quality work is greatly diminished even if they do manage to shamble into the office.

Depression, Not Malaise

Could this not be the “malaise” this generation is so frequently accused of? The pieces seem to fit.

Unfortunately, this describes only half of the vicious cycle that is depression. Based on a survey of 300,000 Americans, we know that 12.4% of unemployed people say they are depressed.




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