Research reveals that Millennials are twice as likely to suffer from stress than Baby Boomers

Millennials are lumbered with a number of labels but the most frequently used is that they are the most stressed generation. The Global Benefits Attitudes Study by Willis Towers Watson (WTW) further supports this as it found 61% of Millennials suffer high or above average stress, compared with 33% of Baby Boomers and 50% of Generation X.

However, while millennials may suffer from high levels of stress, they won’t be suffering in silence. The study found that almost half (48%) of millennials said they would seek support from family, friends or co-workers, compared to 32% Generation X and 21% of Boomers. More than a quarter (27%) of Millennials would seek support from their manager, compared to 18% of Generation X and 6% of Boomers. For more severe mental health issues 41% would seek external help – for example, from a medical professional – compared to 33% of Generation X and 28% of Boomers.

“There has been an encouraging growth in awareness around issues of stress and mental health in the workplace, and an increasing number of employers are taking positive action to address these problems,” said Mike Blake, wellbeing lead for Willis Towers Watson.

“However, the significant variation in stress levels highlights the need for such action, where possible, to be tailored to the requirements of different demographics. Millennials, for example, face a variety of unique pressures – the immediacy and convenience of modern technology makes it harder to escape work pressures and this generation have been shown to strive for perfectionism more than previous ones.”

When it comes to coping strategies, the study found further differences between generations. Retail therapy was the top choice for more than half (54%) of Millennials. These figures drop to 44% among Generation X, and 35% among Boomers.

“Since the root causes of stress and mental health issues will differ, so too will the support needs. Millennials are happy to talk about their problems, so may respond well to counselling or therapy, but different people will respond to different stimuli, so a best-practice approach to mental health should cover a wide range of initiatives that might include everything from exercise schemes to treatment from professionals.” Blake adds