Theres a new trend happening around the US, and many other countries, that has changed how we look at and discuss mental illness. Many people, especially Millennials and Gen Z, have become much more open about their mental illnesses and how they treat them. Ultimately, the stigma around going to therapy, receiving mental health help, or having a mental illness has drastically diminished.
In recent years, many more Americans have been seeking mental health help than in the past. Around 42% of Americans have utilized therapists or counselors throughout their lives, and the numbers are only increasing. The main utilizers of these services are unsurprisingly the younger generations. Young adults are the most likely individuals to seek mental health help and to then recommend these services to their friends.
Why do younger generations tend to use these services more than older ones? The answer may lie in an increase of stress, depression, and anxiety among younger adults and teenagers.
These statistics can be traced back to smart phones and social media. One study shows that individuals who used social media for 3-4 hours a day were noticeably more unhappy than individuals who used social media for only 1-2 hours a day. The isolation one faces when using social media or sitting at home alone on ones phone has detrimentally hurt younger adults self-confidence in their abilities to handle many emotional obstacles that come with growing up.
There is an upside to all of this. Since more young adults and teenagers are requiring mental health services, therapy and mental illness are becoming talked about much more often and are becoming less taboo. Additionally, many individuals have been using social media to their advantage by using it to create communities in which to talk about their mental illnesses and support others. Although more people are having and acknowledging mental health issues, they have chosen to come together to create a more positive space to help each other grow and heal. So if you were debating on whether or not to go to therapy or to join a supportive community, now is the perfect time to do it.
– Haidyn Emmerich
Nourish Your Mind Blog Contributor