3 things that support Gen Z mental health
When Springtide collected data at the two-year mark of the pandemic, nearly half of the young people (47%) we surveyed said that they were moderately or extremely depressed, while over half of young people said they were moderately or extremely anxious (55%) or moderately or extremely stressed (57%). As we move toward the end of 2022, more young people may struggle with their mental health as they feel the stressors of family dynamics, school pressures or having to plan for the future. Here’s three things that can support mental health for Gen Z:
Largely, young people say that they prefer talking with their friends about their mental health, rather than adults. Especially since they are close in age, they feel that they can more easily relate to their peers, which helps them feel safe and comfortable opening up.
Springtide data show the more religious or spiritual a young person is, the more likely they are to say they’re flourishing in their mental and emotional health.
And while many young people don’t attend religious services, they engage in traditional practices such as prayer, or less traditional practices such as art, meditation, being in nature, journaling, volunteering, connecting with ancestors and several others. Young people we interviewed say that undertaking these practices can be helpful for mental health.
The pressure to succeed in the ways society and family expects weighs heavily on Gen Z. Many of the young people we interviewed spoke about all the expectations they may face in a given day, and how over time, it can take a real toll on mental health. During a focus group with ninth grade students, one of the top three things they named as stressors was “harsh expectations” and how “you feel like you are regressing instead of going forward, like you are staying in one place and not getting anywhere”, even when they are self-imposed. One of the participants said: