Stress and anxiety are the predominant emotions among young people, surpassing positive feelings such as love, happiness and hope, according to a study that assesses the mental health of Gen Z, in Europe, the United Kingdom. United and Central Europe. A discomfort which is not always perceived by parents and which young people find difficult to discuss with professionals.
Zers experience negative emotions, such as stress and anxiety, more than positive feelings, such as love, happiness and hope, indicates a study conducted by Discord, “Mental health of generation Z: unleashing the speech in an uncertain world. In Europe, this feeling would be felt by 57% of young people surveyed, compared to 74% in the United Kingdom and 48% in Central Europe. Half of Zs, all countries combined, have experienced happiness over the last six months, while 59% cite anxiety, 45% speak of anger and 42% of loneliness.
Several factors would explain these feelings, but the study highlights three main concerns, common to the three countries studied: inflation (60% say they are affected by the cost of living crisis), climate change (33%) and social inequalities (30%).
A hidden discomfort
This discomfort is, paradoxically, not perceived by their parents, who were also questioned by the study. The latter estimate that three of the four emotions recently felt by their children are positive, led by happiness/joy (46%), enthusiasm/motivation (38%) and self-esteem at 32%. However, 40% recognize that anxiety and stress are among the last emotions of their offspring.
Despite the problems they face, young people are not always inclined to seek help. 31% admit to being reluctant to confide in a therapist. 61% can’t even name an online service to connect them with a mental health professional and 72% don’t have an AI-powered mental health chatbot in mind.
This lack of awareness of online therapy or support service tools also concerns parents since “8 out of 10 are unable to name an application or online support service in terms of mental health”, underlined the study.
Yet 77% of young people believe that asking for help is a sign of courage and that everyone can benefit from support for their mental health during their life.
Many social networks have developed tools to improve the mental health of users: “51% of them believe that online platforms have helped to remove taboos around mental health and raise awareness of these issues, and 45% say they have found valuable resources and information on mental health through access to online platforms“added the study.
However, according to the study, 31% of young people surveyed believe that these platforms can harm self-esteem because of unrealistic comparisons: “a third of young people (33%; compared to 53% in the UK) think there could be more education about the importance of healthy online practices in schools, and almost one in two (45% ) admits that time offline would be beneficial for his mental health“.
Although the French are the least likely to consider support for mental health to be important (50% compared to 76% and 70% respectively in the United Kingdom and Central Europe), they are still more numerous (29% of young people) to have sought in-person help for their mental health in the last two years than the English (23%) and the Germans (22%).
On TikTok, the trend of internet psychologists has been a hit. An unsurprising phenomenon if we consider the results of the study proving that young people find it easier to talk about their problems in writing and to find themselves in specific communities: “A quarter (23%) say they feel more comfortable talking about their feelings in writing than talking to a therapist in person, and 25% of young French people believe that online communities help them feel that they are not alone in their struggle with mental health, and for 42% (compared to 38% in the UK and 28% in Central Europe), online communities have allowed them to connect with others who understand and identify with mental health problems”.