Mental Health and Gen Z

Generation Z, the latest generation to come of age in America, has been determined by the American Psychological Association to be experiencing the worst mental health of any generation previous. But that does not tell the entire story of this age group.


As today is Word Teen Mental Health Day, it is only fitting to explore the concerns and outlook of Generation Z.


The APA’s most recent “Stress in America” survey focused on Americans ages 15 to 20. We must recognize the unusual stress this age group has experienced, with mass school shootings topping the list, with a 75 percent of its members naming it as a significant source of stress.


This age group also reports more stress overall about news issues than adults of all generations, including reports of separation and deportation of immigrant and migrant families; and sexual harassment and assault reports.


While it sounds like this generation may be more sensitive than other age groups to issues that may or may not directly affect them — which of course causes stress — the good news is that they are also more sensitive to their own mental health needs. This generation is significantly more likely (27 percent) than other generations to report their mental health as fair or poor, and more likely to seek and receive help.


This is our next generation of adults. Let’s be aware of what their concerns are and remember to offer an ear and a helping hand when needed.


We can all take a cue from this age group and remember that its important to be truthful with ourselves about our mental health and seek help when needed.