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Young People and Mental Health in the Workplace

Managers and younger employees are struggling to adapt as a generation of people with higher rates of reported mental illness enter the workforce.

The youngest adults in the workforce today, those 18 to 30 years old and according to the Harvard Business Review highlights the fact that 95% of adults aged 18 to 30 are particularly affected by mental health challenges and are also the least prepared to deal with them. Companies can and should focus on creating a more inclusive environment and be prepared to step up and support our people.

Young workers aged 18 to 30 are perceived to be under almost twice as much pressure in their lives as their more senior peers. They’re more likely to be worrying about debt or struggling to pay their bills, which is likely to add to their stress. And they are more reluctant than their older peers to let their employers know when they’re having problems.

More needs to be done. Here are three steps you can take to get things moving faster in the right direction:

1. Young people often enter the workforce with little sense of what is about to hit them. It’s important to help them make the transition to a kind of pressure many have never faced before

2. Training to help give an understanding how to manage the stresses and strains of the job.

3. Senior leaders should try to be open about the challenges they’ve faced, when you speak up, not only are you helping struggling younger workers realize that they’re not alone, you are also giving them some language to use to describe their own experiences.

As with all areas of health and safety, we need to be aware of risks and aware of controls. Knowing that so many young people who are entering the workforce could be struggling with their mental health is a big responsibility. Ensuring young vulnerable workers feel secure in their roles seems paramount, offering support and help with mental and physical health, and ensuring that all workers have a safe place to go for support is key. To find out more about your employees state of mind is as easy as implementing an employee engagement survey, to gain a better understanding on how your workers as a whole are coping in the workplace. Our Team Works Tool also takes into how many of your employees are taking part in harmful coping mechanisms outside of work.

The time is now to prioritize mental health and wellness in the workplace.

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