Sunday, May 03, 2015
Millenials and Mental Health
You might figure that the older people are, the greater the likelihood of mental health issues. You know, with death being imminent and all. Surveys show that while the elderly are certainly not immune to depression and other mental health challenges they are generally content with life. Perhaps there is a sense of community for many of them which includes belonging to a faith of community and the comfort of faith. For subsequent generations there is less of a sense of connection and lots of uncertainty.
A recent poll shows that the youngest Canadian adults are strongly affected by that uncertainty. Global News has reported it this way:
As we are entering into Mental Health Week in Canada an Ipsos Poll indicates that 53 per cent of Canada’s young adults are at risk of grappling with depression and other mental well-being concerns. This group of Canadians had the highest rates of being at risk compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Millennials — or those 18 to 33 years old — are feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders. They may not have kids to feed, mortgages to pay or a minivan, but Canada’s generation of the future is feeling the stress. Societal issues, such as a low employment rate and rising living costs, as pressures that weigh on millennials.
I take this to heart because our three adult children are Millennials, and I see these challenges in their lives. One daughter commutes a total of three hours each day to a job with lots of demands. The other is in a job with high expectations, including work on weekends when her partner is off. Our son in a United Church minister, but last time I checked there is a wobbly future for the denomination and he has a growing family.
We pray for our kids, but I realize we don't pray often in worship for this generation. There have to be other ways that we reach out as well. While our congregations are graying, we need to be broader in our outlook and expansive in our grace. It's important for us to understand mental health as a spiritual and congregational issue.
Do you feel your congregation supports that Millenial generation well, or adequately? Where should the conversation happen? Do you have children or grandchildren that fit the profile?