October 10, 2017

Millennials most likely to have experience with depression

Younger workers also more likely to report bullying and discrimination due to mental illness

Winnipeg, MB, Oct 10, 2017. . . One in every two members of the youngest generation in Canada’s workplaces say they’ve experienced depression, according to a recent Ipsos survey. Fifty per cent of millennial workers (those aged 18 to 34) report some experience of depression compared with 39% of GenXers (those aged 35 to 54) and 29% of Boomers (those aged 55 or older).

Other key findings include that millennial workers are also more likely than other age groups to:

  • believe they currently have a mental illness (21%, vs. 14% vs. 9%)
  • feel nervous, anxious or on edge most days (21% vs. 11% vs. 7%)
  • be unable to control their worrying on most days (20% vs. 11% vs. 7%)
  • find it difficult to cope with these feelings (17% vs. 11% vs. 9%).

“These trends among younger age groups in the workplace may seem disconcerting,” said Mary Ann Baynton, Program Director, Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. “However, these results may partly reflect that younger workers are more aware of mental health and less likely to be silenced by social stigma, which is what we’ve seen through other research.”

The 2016 Ipsos survey was commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre) – now celebrating its 10th year – to help define and respond to workplace mental health needs.

The survey found millennials are also more likely than other age groups to report:

  • being bullied or harassed in the workplace (13% vs. 9% vs. 8 %)
  • experiencing discrimination in the workplace (11% vs. 8% vs. 7%)
  • being treated unfairly in the workplace due to a mental illness (15% vs 12% vs 12%)

Baynton says the fact the latest generation to enter the workforce reports the higher levels of psychological stress should be a major flag for senior leaders concerned about employee retention and productivity. Engaging these workers in a discussion about what supports them to do their best work can be a great starting point to remove barriers to reaching their full potential and sustained well-being.

About the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Established in 2007, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace is a leading source of practical ideas, tools and resources designed to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues. In 2017, the Centre celebrates a decade of helping employers take concrete steps to foster a psychologically healthy and safe workplace and manage employee mental health issues.

Around the world, Canada is recognized as an international leader in workplace mental health. Many individuals and organizations have contributed to this distinction and it has been a privilege for the Centre to have played a part in many of their important initiatives.

For more information, visit the Centre's websiteOpens a new website in a new window.

For further information

Tim Oracheski
Director, Media & PR

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