A generational Mental Health Awakening: Navigating a New Era of Awareness


By Asia Menendez 


In a world characterised by rapid technological advancement and shifting societal norms, one of the most promising developments we've witnessed is the heightened awareness and open dialogue surrounding mental health. The new generations referred to as Generation Z and Millennials, have emerged as trailblazers in this crucial arena. They are reshaping the conversation around mental health, debunking stigma, and demonstrating an inspiring resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges such as Covid, global war, high rates of unemployment and financial instability.


In recent times, there has been an increasing acknowledgment of the importance of mental health issues in our society. The modern lifestyle, influenced by various socioeconomic and technological factors, has given rise to a significant surge in mental health-related challenges. Mental health conditions are not uncommon. Hundreds of millions suffer from them yearly, and many more do over their lifetimes. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience major depression in their lives.

The escalating prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression, and similar mental conditions has prompted individuals, communities, and policymakers to give greater attention to these issues.

One of the key factors contributing to this transformative shift is the open and honest conversations taking place on social media platforms. Despite its potential advantages for mental well-being, we are still far from overcoming this stigma for good. Social media also has a strong impact on people's mental health, especially the youngest individuals. A focus is also needed on these new digital technologies, as the intensive use of digital technology, including social media, has affected mental health.

While technology has opened up new avenues for mental health support, it has also introduced its own set of challenges. Its effects on isolation, constant screen exposure, social media pressures, and cyberbullying contribute to anxiety and depression among users.2

Furthermore, the new generation has been growing in an era where information is readily accessible. They have access to a wealth of resources, including articles, videos, and online communities dedicated to mental health awareness and support. With just a few clicks, they can educate themselves about different mental health conditions, coping strategies, and available treatments. But on the other side of the coin, this access to what appears to be an unlimited number of resources can become overwhelming, and impact mental health. This can be damaging especially for younger individuals who have not yet developed the necessary tools to filter and manage an excessive influx of information.

The education system has also evolved to better address the mental health needs of students. Many schools now offer mental health education and support services, helping young people develop emotional intelligence, stress management skills, and encouraging pupils to seek help when needed.


Also examining the impact of work on mental health is crucial in an era where burnout and workplace stress are increasingly prevalent. This is particularly relevant when considering, for instance, how depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $ 1 trillion in lost productivity each year.3

In fact, mental health issues can hinder concentration and productivity. Mental well-being is a fundamental aspect of every individual's life, and work can significantly influence it. Burnout, a feeling of physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive work pressure, is a common issue in many industries. Its impact on mental health is undeniable, leading to problems such as anxiety and depression. To address this challenge, it is essential for employers to promote a transformative corporate culture that encourages a balance between work and personal life.

Furthermore, it is of vital importance to promote mental health in workplaces worldwide. Besides the undeniable moral obligation and understanding, this not only benefits employees but also the companies themselves. A workforce with good mental health is more productive, creative, and engaged. Create a more safe workplace, it's a commitment that should be shared by all organizations worldwide.

The workplace is another arena where the new generation is pushing for change. They prioritize work-life balance, and, contrary to the work-aholic approach of the older generation, they are unapologetic about seeking time off when they need it for their mental health. Employers are gradually recognizing the importance of fostering a mentally healthy workplace. 


As already said, while the new generation has made remarkable strides in promoting mental health awareness, their journey is far from over. There are still many challenges to be addressed, including disparities in access to mental health care, the ongoing battle against stigma, and the need for continued research and innovation in the field of mental health treatment. Mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. However, only half of those affected receive treatment, often due to stigma and fear of being judged or discrimination, leading them to endure their challenges in silence. This not only worsens their conditions but also interferes with their path to recovery. 

Untreated, mental illness can contribute to higher medical expenses, poorer performance at school and work, fewer employment opportunities and increased risk of suicide. 4


Mental health is also influenced by socio-economic and geographical inequalities. In some parts of the world it is not easy to have access to mental health services.

Marginalised communities and vulnerable groups experience worse mental health due to historical inequalities, and due to the fact that cultural stigmas and ideas about mental health vary among communities. Lack of access to mental health care services and negative perceptions about treatment, contribute to disparities.

Racial, gender, and sexual minorities, along with those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, are particularly affected. Developing culturally sensitive programs and services is essential for bridging these gaps.5

When it comes to cross-cutting mental wellbeing with ethnic background, mental health research highlights a higher prevalence of stigma within the black community.

In the black community, discussing mental health issues can often be deemed unacceptable, even within family circles. While family and faith traditionally serve as sources of strength for African Americans, the emphasis on self-reliance can deter individuals from seeking professional help when it is needed the most.

Notably, black men are particularly influenced by societal expectations to exhibit strength and handle their problems independently. This societal pressure to mask their issues may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression, leading some to resort to self-medication through substances like drugs or alcohol.

Furthermore, disparities in healthcare access can hinder individuals from the African American community from receiving proper care. Alarmingly, only approximately 30% of Black adults seek treatment for mental health issues each year, in contrast to 43% of white adults. This gap underscores the urgent need to address mental health stigma and improve access to mental health care in the black community.6


Another vulnerable group to focus on is the LGBTQ+ community, which faces a disproportionate burden of mental health challenges due to the stigma, prejudice, and discrimination they often encounter, leading to unhealthy coping mechanisms and various health conditions.

Recent research has revealed that one in three LGBTQ+ adults experiences mental illness, a higher rate compared to one in five heterosexual adults.

Access to healthcare can be hindered for LGBTQ+ individuals due to various factors. The National LGBT Health Education Center has highlighted that members of this community are less likely to have health insurance, more likely to encounter discrimination from healthcare personnel and to discover that clinicians lack knowledge in providing appropriate care.

Addressing these disparities in mental health and healthcare access is imperative to promote the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.6


We must continue to champion open dialogue, provide accessible mental health resources, and advocate for policies that prioritize mental well-being. It is through our collective commitment and stronger action by our policymakers that we can ensure a brighter, mentally healthier future for generations to come. 

It is crucial to combat the stigma associated with mental disorders because a shift in public attitudes can significantly improve the lives of individuals affected by these conditions. It is also essential to emphasize that social support and collaboration among governments, organizations, and individuals, play a pivotal role in promoting mental health.


In conclusion, the urgency of addressing mental health issues in modern society cannot be overstated. The new generation has ignited a powerful mental health revolution, setting an inspiring example of courage and resilience. Their willingness to break the silence has paved the way for a more compassionate and understanding society. As we applaud their progress, let us also acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done. By promoting mental health awareness, enhancing access to mental health services, and cultivating a supportive and empathetic environment, we can collectively alleviate the burden of mental health challenges and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future.



  1. https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health 
  2. https://medium.com/@abdulazizshaik00/mental-health-in-contemporary-society-a-growing-concern-603b82d36324
  3. https://www.nami.org/mhstats
  4. https://www.pinerest.org/newsroom/articles/mental-health-awareness-blog/
  5. https://publichealth.tulane.edu/blog/mental-health-public-health/
  6. https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/lets-face-it-no-one-wants-talk-about-mental-health