Mental Health Awareness Month: Unique mental health issues faced by Gen Z and ways to help them in their healing journey

Amidst the unique challenges faced by Gen Z, understanding their mental health struggles is crucial. Check out ways to empower their healing journey.

Mental Health Awareness Month, observed from May 1 to May 31, serves as a vital platform to acknowledge and prioritize the fundamental significance of mental health and well-being in our daily lives. As we commemorate this month-long observance, it is essential to shine a spotlight on the unique mental health challenges faced by individuals, particularly the younger generation. In today's fast-paced digital era, the mental health landscape has significantly impacted Generation Z, or Gen Z, often referred to as the “Digital Natives.”

Amidst the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and social media, Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, finds themselves navigating a world filled with unique pressures and complexities. From increased academic stress to social media comparison, Gen Z faces a range of issues that takes a toll on their mental health and well-being.

According to a recent study by Ogilvy, 70% of Gen Z individuals believe their mental health requires significant attention and improvement. Additionally, the American Psychological Association highlights that Gen Z is more likely than any other demographic to report mental health concerns. This comes as no surprise, considering the traumatic events this generation has faced, from the COVID-19 pandemic to mass shootings.

Based on the Deloitte Indian GenZ Survey Report for 2022, approximately 35-40% of the corporate workforce in India belongs to the Gen Z demographic. Within this group, 49% of Indian Gen Z individuals and 43% of Indian Millennials experience consistent feelings of anxiety or stress. Furthermore, mental health disorders affect 14% of the population in India, with the country accounting for 15% of global mental health disorders. Disturbingly, these statistics reveal that 56 million individuals in India suffer from depression, while 38 million experience anxiety disorders.

Mental health issues faces by Gen Z and tips to help them:

"To aid Gen Z on their journey to mental health and healing, a comprehensive approach is necessary. This approach acknowledges their unique challenges and equips them with the necessary tools to cultivate resilience. It involves creating a safe and supportive environment that fosters open communication. Additionally, raising awareness and understanding of mental health through educational initiatives is essential. Providing access to resources like counselling services and helplines is crucial. Encouraging self-care practices and emphasizing the significance of seeking help when needed are also vital components of supporting Gen Z's mental health journey," says Nidhi Tiwari, clinical psychologist.

Diksha Singh, counselling psychologist at Lissun, shared with HT Lifestyle, some common mental health challenges faced by this generation and valuable tips to support them on their path to healing and resilience.

1. Anxiety and depression: Gen Z experiences high rates of anxiety and depression due to academic pressures, social media comparisons, economic uncertainty, and other stressors.

  • Encourage open conversations: Create a safe and non-judgmental space for Gen Z individuals to express their feelings and concerns.
  • Promote self-care: Encourage activities such as exercise, mindfulness, journaling, or engaging in hobbies to help manage anxiety and depression symptoms.
  • Seek professional help: Encourage them to reach out to mental health professionals who can provide therapy, counselling, or medication if needed.
2. Social media impact: Gen Z has grown up with social media, which can contribute to low self-esteem, cyberbullying, and constant comparison. Some tips to navigate social media in a healthier way are as follows:
  • Encourage digital detox: Encourage Gen Z individuals to take breaks from social media to reduce the negative impact on their mental health.
  • Promote positive use of social media: Encourage them to follow accounts that promote body positivity, mental health awareness, and personal growth.
  • Teach critical thinking: Help them develop a critical mindset to question the authenticity and accuracy of the content on social media platforms.
3. Loneliness and isolation: Despite being digitally connected; Gen Z often experiences feelings of loneliness and isolation. Here's how you can support them:
  • Encourage offline connections: Encourage them to participate in group activities, clubs, or events where they can meet like-minded peers and form meaningful relationships.
  • Foster supportive communities: Help them find online or offline communities centred around shared interests, hobbies, or support groups.
  • Teach empathy and kindness: Promote acts of kindness, inclusion, and empathy, both online and offline, to help combat feelings of loneliness.
4. Academic and career pressure: Gen Z faces immense pressure to excel academically and succeed in a competitive job market.
  • Set realistic expectations: Encourage them to set realistic goals and remind them that their worth is not solely defined by their academic or career achievements.
  • Promote work-life balance: Encourage them to prioritize self-care, leisure activities, and maintaining healthy boundaries between work or study and personal life.
  • Provide guidance: Offer guidance in exploring various career paths, internship opportunities, and options for further education to reduce stress and uncertainty.
"Remember, while these tips can be helpful, it's important to recognize that everyone's healing journey is unique. If mental health issues persist or worsen, it's crucial to seek professional help from a licensed mental health professional who can provide personalized guidance and support," concludes Diksha.

Disclaimer: This Article is auto-generated from the HT news service