Nowadays, How Can Employers Offer Support to the Youth?

Youth mental health is finally receiving the attention it deserves, from the Surgeon General’s new guidelines to a major New York Times article to celebrity advocacy. However, the numbers are still concerning, with increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts. As society comes together to address this issue, employers have a key role to play in promoting progress.

Research shows that symptoms of depression and anxiety doubled among young people worldwide during the pandemic, and emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts increased by 51% among adolescent girls in the United States. To combat these trends, leaders across industries are advocating for action. However, one important player in the discussion is often overlooked: employers.

Employers can leverage their networks, resources, and influence to support young employees and contribute to a culture of mental health. With Generation Z set to comprise 27% of OECD country workforces by 2025, mental health is a priority for organizations that want to retain the next generation of workers. Employers can provide mental health resources for employees and their children, create a culture of well-being, and continuously evaluate and improve mental health programs.

Recognizing the potential long-term impacts of mental illness on society, One Mind at Work launched in 2017 as a global coalition for workplace mental health and wellness. With over 170 members and partners in various sectors, the coalition develops and shares best practices for promoting mental health in the workplace. Employers must join forces with other stakeholders to prioritize the mental health of young people and future generations.

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