Millennials most at risk of mental health problems

Millennials most at risk of mental health problems

Mental health in the workplace is becoming an increasing concern especially among the youngest members of the workforce, research has found.

According to the 11-page Wellbeing Report from Aviva, those aged 16 to 24 are more likely to have experienced a mental health problem, at 63 per cent, compared with 47 per cent of all UK adults.

However, 13 per cent of young people said they were less likely to seek support, with 50 per cent of all adults admitting they were uncomfortable or unsure about admitting to having a mental health problem. 

The report suggested this meant millions of young adults could fail to be diagnosed or are ignored, and are less likely to receive the right treatment.

Common mental illnesses among this age group include stress-related conditions and depression.

Stress has been the most common reason for mental health claims in recent years. For example, in September, Unum published its claims statistics, which showed younger working women are particularly affected by mental health problems.

According to Unum, 42 per cent of women making a mental health claim are aged less than 40-years-old, compared with 21 per cent of men making a mental health claim.

Earlier this year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported 11.7 million working days were lost to stress with an average of 23.9 days lost per case.

Doctor Doug Wright, medical director for Aviva UK Health, said: "Mental illness is often dubbed an invisible illness, but that doesn’t mean its sufferers should remain silent.

"Tremendous work has been done to remove the stigma around mental health in recent years.

"However our research highlights how widespread mental health conditions are around the UK, particularly among younger adults, and those who are currently suffering should find some comfort in knowing they are not alone.

"Having open and honest conversations about mental health is the only way to break the taboo and help people seek the support they need."

 Young Adults (16-24)UK Adults
Uncomfortable telling people about a mental health problem33%27%
Experiencing a mental health condition but haven’t sought help13%7%
Experiencing a mental health condition but do not believe they’re receiving the right treatment15%10%
Experienced stress in the last year45%37%
Experienced anxiety in the last year46%35%
Experienced depression in the last year39%30

In May, during Mental Health Week, it was revealed the UK loses more than £70bn a year to mental illness.

It was also revealed one in four people will suffer from a mental health condition at some point in our lives.

Tom Conner, director for Drewberry, said: "Facing up to these statistics raises important questions about how employers can promote wellbeing and good mental health in the workplace and whether the millions of British sufferers can do anything to mitigate the potential financial impact of a mental illness."

Paul Moulton, SME director for Axa PPP Healthcare, told FTAdviser earlier this year he believes advisers who have corporate clients are well-placed to help raise awareness and engagement of workplace-based healthcare schemes and the support services provided with this, which can help to minimise the impact of stress on the worker and the employer.