May 17, 2019

Gen Z and Millennials Champion Mental Health

Author:
Kathy Ellison, Director
"Around 7 in 10 feel technology causes ‘digital stress’ and the same amount believe it stops face-to-face interaction."

Mental health is more important than physical health to Gen Z and Millennials.

Here at Savanta, we're keen supporters of Mental Health Awareness Week, and we’ve conducted some of our own research into the mental health and happiness of two key age groups: Gen Z and Millennials. The findings have been illuminating.


Generations Apart

Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2012) and Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) both rate being in good mental health as more important than being in good physical health – the only age groups in the study to do so.

The so-called ‘snowflake generation’ actually come across as refreshingly grounded, and the youngest group we surveyed, Gen Z, overwhelmingly believe happiness is the most important thing to them right now. In fact, when asked to rate health, wealth and happiness in order of importance, four times as many said happiness as said wealth.

Digital does have an impact on their lives – around 7 in 10 feel technology causes ‘digital stress’ and the same amount believe it stops face-to-face interaction.

However, it’s heartening to see that these are also the most optimistic generations: beating older age groups hands down with around 60% feeling optimistic about the future.

The Results

Mental health is more important than physical

  • Gen Z and Millennials think it’s more important to be in good mental health than good physical health (both 75% concerned versus 71% and 74% respectively)
  • In contrast only 60% of Baby Boomers (in their 50s – 70s) think good mental health is an important concern
  • Being in good mental health was also much more of a concern to females than to males (73% vs 65%)

Younger generations much more optimistic for the future

  • Gen Z (57%) and Millennials (60%) were much more optimistic about the future than either Gen X (46%) or Baby Boomers (46%)
  • Starter families (60%) were much more optimistic about the future than young singles (51%)

Health, wealth and happiness – which is most important right now?

  • Happiness is most important to Gen Z (57%), then health (31%) and lastly wealth (13%)
  • Gen Z (57%) and Millennials (51%) were more focused on happiness than either Gen X (40%) or Baby Boomers (27%)
  • Health was significantly more important to females than males (54% vs 49%)

The impact of digital

  • Gen Z (45%), Millennials (42%) and Gen X (25%) significantly more likely to agree that “I have a different personality when I’m online than when I’m offline” than Baby Boomers (12%)
  • Gen Z (69%) and Millennials (72%) feel technology causes ‘digital stress’ i.e. negative interactions in emails, texts, social media, chat rooms and forums
  • Gen Z (65%) and Millennials (72%) believe technology discourages people from speaking to each other face-to-face. More women than men agree that technology discourages people from speaking to each other face-to-face (77% vs 72%) and technology causes digital stress (75% vs 66%)

 

An active member of Savanta’s Health & Well being committee and author of this research, Kathy Ellison has a keen interest in generational perceptions and priorities.  To access the full report, or discuss the findings further, please reach out to Kathy.Ellison@savanta.com.

 


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