Half Of Working Millennials In Canada Say They’ve Dealt With Depression

It’s a hard statistic, but an important one: one out of every two people in the youngest generation of workers in Canada has had experience with depression.

According to a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, a full half of employees aged 18 to 34 reported that they’d dealt with the mental illness, while for Gen-Xers (aged 35 to 54) that number was 39 per cent.

So what does it mean to have such a huge portion of workers — particularly the ones who will be taking up more of the workforce in the coming years — reporting so many negative experiences?

Actually, it could mean progress.

Younger workers are more aware of mental health and less likely to be silenced by social stigma.

“These trends among younger age groups in the workplace may seem disconcerting,” Mary Ann Baynton, Great-West Life’s program director for this initiative, said in a press release. “However, these results may partly reflect that younger workers are more aware of mental health and less likely to be silenced by social stigma.”

That tendency can certainly be seen elsewhere, as more millennials speak up about the struggles faced when it comes to anxiety and depression, something that has long been missing from both offices and other public spaces.

In an article from Vice on how millennials use memes to talk about mental health, it’s easy to see that technology has helped put the word out that a huge number of people go through these kinds of struggles — and by sharing them, it reminds people that there are others who are struggling too.

“I have chronic depression which isn’t exactly hilarious but sometimes memes resonate more than my $200 therapy session,” mental health advocate Deidre Fidge told the site. “I don’t know if it’s deeply pathetic or heart-warming that random memes make me feel less alone sometimes, but there you go.”

Offices in need of a change

It’s natural that these tendencies will carry over into the workplace, which has long been a space in need of a mental health revamp.

Studies have shown that workers who have depression are more likely to miss days of work, as well as have a poorer quality performance, and that can be exacerbated by factors at the office.

Former Globe and Mail columnist (and Baby Boomer) Jan Wong wrote a book in 2012

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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