Looking Out For The Mental Wellbeing Of The Next Generation
Whether you have younger brothers or sisters, cousins, colleagues, you are a mentor, or perhaps you have no dealings with any younger generations than your own...yet - it is essential to look out for them, help them and teach them from everything we’ve learned so far. Mental health is something that we have learned a lot about an perhaps even taught a lot about to older generations, its something that we now talk about openly, but it is also something that isn’t going anywhere any time soon, meaning that we have to keep learning, keep talking and keep looking for the signs.
It’s difficult when looking at people younger than ourselves to know if they are really struggling with a mental illness or just battling through life and uncertainty as we all have had to. However, it is essential to note the new challenges that they face or have faced throughout their lives where they have known nothing else other than social media and the internet. For example, a study which was published in the Psychological Bulletin found that Millennials strive for a higher level of perfectionism compared to older generations. This brings with it higher expectations and has, therefore shown an increase in the rate of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
This is just one example, but it is important to look at the younger generations and appreciate the differences they have had in their upbringing, some of it very good and some of it detrimental. While there are many adolescent residential treatment centers which are helping to combat the problem, there are things that you can do in the workplace to help the problem and help your younger colleagues:
Take Mental Health Seriously:
It’s vital that you and anyone else in your company recognize that depression and other mental health issues are equally severe as physical illnesses and not taking them seriously can actually make the problem worse.
Encourage Mental Health Days
If this isn’t something you do already in your company, then start now. Promoting mental health days and offer them as well, make it become the norm so that there is no stigma attached. It’s essential to keep in mind that some mental health conditions, like depression, maybe chronic, so just one day may not suffice.
Implement Mental Health Awareness.
Encouraging conversations, putting posters up, and joining in on awareness days can help to show that your workplace supports mental health.
Promote Self-care Techniques
Again, if this isn’t something you already do in your company, then start now, and it doesn’t have to come from the top - you can take it upon yourself to sort out someone coming in one lunchtime to practice mindfulness and meditation or early morning yoga.
There are lots of training courses now widely available for employers and employees on mental health, how to spot signs, and even mental health first aid. Be proactive and get everything in place before it becomes a problem rather than reacting to it when it does.