Millennials Are Changing Mental Health at Work

According to an article by Forbes contributor Sarah Landrum, Millennials expect certain things from their work environment.  The title of the article, Millennials To Be The Most High-Maintenance In The Workplace, Landrum explains Millennials want to see companies –

  • Providing for their needs

  • Building a comfortable and welcoming work environment

  • Helping them improve their skill sets and become better overall global citizens

The golden thread connecting these three requirements is the idea of self-care. Landrum points out that Millennials are fully aware (and demanding of) the things that allow them to be self actualized. This is what preeminent psychologist Abraham Maslow would refer to as the highest level of psychological evolution for a human.

Essentially, Millennials REALLY value their mental health and are looking for ways to have it supported. Despite mental health being a top priority, depression is a big problem for Millennials at work.  According to a recent white paper published by HR leader Morneau Sheppell which reviewed depression in the workplace, 1 in 5 Millennials in the workforce today struggle with depression.  Additionally, the American Psychiatry Association found that Millennials are the most anxious generation to date.

While workplace culture struggles to catch up to the mental health needs of it’s employees, where do younger workers begin to get the support they need? Fortunately there are several things they can do right away to start to feel better.


Start With A Plan

When someone seeks mental health treatment, a therapist will start with an assessment and development of a plan. Whether or not someone has decided to access professional mental health services, a mental health plan can be a super helpful tool. Mental health plans include things like:

-        Setting up a daily schedule of self care. These can (and should be) simple things you can integrate into your day such as making time for lunch outside of the office and committing to leaving work in time to go to the gym. A therapist can help you overcome barriers to sticking to your daily self care routine.

-        Set goals to increase healthy pleasurable activities. Be mindful not to beat yourself up if you fall short of goals.

-        Work on improving your self talk. Using tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you become more aware of toxic inner criticism.

Be Open Enough to Get Support

While there can be some concerns about disclosing mental health issues in the workplace, there may be far more benefits.  First, an employer cannot make accommodations for a mental illness (which they are legally required to) if they are unaware it exists. Thinking of having a conversation with your employer is one thing you can ask your therapist to help with. In some cases they can assist you in understanding and advocating for your mental health rights.

Once you start a conversation, accommodations can include changes in one’s schedule to allow for therapy appointments, altering work assignments or providing physical accommodations in the office.

Utilize Resources

In an effort to make the use of Employee Assistance Programs more appealing, many companies are working with online providers of short term mental health services as we Abilto and Talkspace.  It may be helpful to have a fresh conversation with your human resources department about benefits you may have looked over during orientation.

If you have decided to seek out private therapy services, that process can also be extremely daunting. In metropolitan areas such as New York and LA there are a plethora of therapists to choose from which makes finding the right support system a full time job of it’s own.  New services such as My Wellbeing offer a fresh and easy approach by matching therapists through an easy online quiz.

Need to talk to someone? Schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation with one of our clinicians today.