What Mental Health Leaders Are Getting Wrong

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After almost two years of a global pandemic and its long list of negative side effects, our collective mental health has never been more vulnerable. McKinsey recently surveyed 5,000 Americans and found 37% of them were diagnosed with mental health issues in 2021 or were seeking treatment for their mental health. Faced with the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, people around the world suffer from a seemingly never-ending cycle of anxiety, depression and loss, not just for the millions who have lost their lives to the disease, but for the careless way that has we used to live our lives.

One of the few bright spots at this devastating moment is the clear progress made in destigmatizing mental health. In the process of wreaking havoc in our lives, COVID has catalyzed conversations about the importance of providing mental health support. Our last learn The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, found many encouraging findings, including that 85% of C-level and HR leaders believe mental health is not just about mental illness, it’s something every employee has.

However, there’s one statistic that’s less encouraging: More than half (54%) of C-suite executives believe employee mental health benefits were unavailable in the past and shouldn’t be a priority today . This cohort of leaders is in for a rude awakening.

The luck has turned

It is clear. Mentions of mental health and burnout in Glassdoor reviews has more than doubled during the pandemic and recently learn found that the majority of knowledge workers — 69% of those working remotely and 61% of those in an office — believe employee mental health is a shared responsibility between employees and their employer. This expectation quickly becomes table money, especially for younger generations. Indeed, according to ours research, 86% of 18-29 year olds say they would be more likely to stay at a company that provides them with quality resources to care for their mental health. Amid the “Great Resignation” and the intensifying scramble for talent, this is a statistic that cannot be ignored.

See also: I tried to biohack my depression in 90 days but it didn’t go as planned

Gen Z standards

Generation Z adults, ages 18 to 23, reported the highest levels of stress compared to other generations and were the age group most likely to report symptoms of depression, the researchers said 2020 American Psychological Association Survey of Stress in America. With Gen Z representing 82 million people by 2026 and soon to comprise a large and growing portion of the modern workforce, their needs and standards for mental health support should shape those of leadership. Our research found their standards are rising, with 41% of 18-29 year olds saying they believe mental health benefits will be mandatory for all employers within five years.

Yet despite this prediction about the future, many are still reluctant to share their concerns with their employers. A Deloitte report 2021 found that only 4 in 10 Gen Z workers raise mental health issues with their managers, suggesting an ongoing stigma that likely stems from leaders’ tendency to hold on to the standards of the past.

Also see: 6 Effective Tactics for Dealing with a Toxic Boss

The right side of the story

It’s not uncommon for older generations to refer to “kids today” in this way legitimate or selfish, but given Gen Z’s lifetime familiarity with digital disruption, we can learn a lot from them. And since this generation will drive the future of business, we should learn as much from them as they do from us.

Each generation is defined by the major events that took place during and after its lifetime. Growing up in a post-9/11 world with cultural influences like Black Lives Matter and now a global pandemic, Gen Z has learned to be agile in adapting to disruption. Case study: remote work. Gen Z was quick to embrace the pandemic-driven trend, but with the caveat that work should also include flexibility, autonomy, and a focus on wellness. And frankly, those reservations make for better workers.

Our study found that 67% of C-level executives believe mental health benefits would make employees more productive, and 62% of managers and employees agree. On that note, along with the Grand Resignation, which New says is still in effect Department of Labor data Showing that Americans are quitting or changing jobs in near-record numbers and offering mental health support to employees is a no-brainer.

From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, each generation of employees has adopted new workplace standards. As leaders, it is our responsibility to adapt rather than listen to how things used to be.

See also: 20 secrets to a happier life

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