May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the research is clear: workers across generations and all walks of life need (and increasingly expect) supportive mental health resources in their workplaces to thrive. Unfortunately, many workers—particularly younger workers belonging to the generations entering and growing within our workforce right now--report that they aren’t getting the support they need, and that it’s negatively impacting both their work and home lives.
A third of all workers say their job has negatively impacted their mental health in the last six months. This is especially true among younger workers—Gen Z (43%) and Millennial (40%) workers report negative mental health impacts at twice the rate of Boomers and Traditionalists (20%).
Nearly half of these younger workers say they feel stressed once a week by their work (Gen Z 47%; Millennials 46%), and they report elevated levels of feeling depressed, overwhelmed, lonely and disengaged. This strain bleeds into their life outside work as well. While nearly half (47%) of U.S. workers say that by the end of the working day they have little energy to participate in non-work activities, this is particularly true for Gen Z (63%) and Millennial (54%) workers. Moreover, 1-in-3 workers say they find it difficult to relax or unwind after work, and 1-in-4 deliberately avoid tasks that require a high degree of focus or concentration after work.
Employers can make the difference for employees who are feeling mental strain.
More than 3 in 5 (63%) employees say that having access to better mental health resources at work would improve their mental health, and this is especially true among younger employees – about 7-in-10 in the case of Gen Z (71%) and Millennial (69%) workers! Particularly among younger generations, employees say they would strongly consider leaving their current job for one that had significantly better mental health benefits—61% of Gen Z and 48% of Millennials.
You can build an effective Workplace Mental Health strategy to support your workers.
Download SHRM Foundation’s Field Guide, Mental Health in Your Workplace: From Evaluation to Action. Now, HR professionals of all industries and organization sizes have a tool to help create a mental health strategy for your workplace that leads to meaningful results for your employees.
The fight for mental wellbeing in the workplace is more critical than ever. As you design and launch your workplace mental health strategies, we hope our Field Guide is a powerful tool on your journey.
Become a Workplace Mental Health Champion
Ready to take the next step? Become a Workplace Mental Health Ally with our certificate program. Designed by PsychHub in partnership with SHRM and the SHRM Foundation, this certificate program provides step-by-step instructions to help individuals identify critical workplace mental health topics and learn appropriate approaches to help. For SHRM members, this program is only $99 and for non-members it is priced at $150. Earn your certificate today.