TL;DR – High costs of living, global warming, employment insecurity, and stiff competition at work are some of the stress Gen Zs are facing. It’s no wonder more of them are facing poor mental health.
According to a global survey, since the pandemic, Gen Zs have shown a significant surge in stress, anxiety and depression levels compared to the older generation. Implications of mental health were aroused by stress relating to education, relationships, finances, and job security.
It is heartening to see organisations all around the world are investing in the mental health of their employees and realise that it promotes a healthier working environment and reduces costs as well.
In Singapore, more companies are realizing the importance of implementing mental wellness programmes in their workplaces.
Save Gen Zs
Gen Zs have more unmet social needs than any other generation. The needs mostly include income, employment, social support and safety.
They are two or three times more likely to contemplate or attempt suicide. This calls for an urgent need to prioritize mental health and encourage people to identify red flags and initiate interventions before it is too late.
Even though mental health has been brought to the forefront since the pandemic, Gen Zs are still reluctant to talk about their mental health concerns with their employers.
Mental health in the workplace must take priority. To promote a stigma-free work culture, leaders can start by openly sharing about their mental health struggles.
More Peer-to-Peer Mental Support is needed in the workplace
Young NTUC has trained and certified 675 individuals who can render peer-to-peer support on mental well-being and psychological aid. They come from over 70 companies covering various industries like food services, energy and chemical, education and construction.
The peer supporters shared that conversations around mental well-being remain taboo in the workplace. They also shared that more recognition, training and practice would help them in their role.
Finding out what the youths need
On World Mental Health Day (Oct 10), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)’s youth wing, Young NTUC, held a focus group discussion on mental well-being initiatives for the workplace.
More than 30 employers, youth and young working adults attended the discussion at Starbucks Jewel Changi Airport.
Beyond focus group sessions like these, NTUC Youth Taskforce has an ongoing survey which has garnered over 2,000 respondents to date.
Work-life balance, being adaptable to work, and deciding on their career path are some of the worries reflected in the survey results. Also, one in ten of the respondents do not feel sufficiently prepared to step into the workforce.
NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Desmond Choo said: “In response to the recommendations youth have shared, we are looking into developing specific initiatives to address the unique needs of these youth, who are transitioning to their next stage of life.”
Young NTUC plans to engage more than 1,000 youth in the coming months through upcoming focus group discussions at Institutes of Higher Learning.