A new survey has found that younger generations are more likely to quit their jobs due to mental health reasons.
Half of millennials (ages 23 to 38) and 75 percent of GenZers (ages 18 to 22) said they quit because of conditions such as anxiety and depression.
This is according to the survey from Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics which also revealed that 10 percent of baby boomers (ages 55 to 73) had done the same.
The authors of the report said this is a sign of a ‘generational shift in awareness’ of when mental health is being damaged and needs to be prioritized.
Employers, they added, need to become more comfortable providing their workers with mental health support services.
The survey canvassed 1500 people who were at least aged 16 and older and working at a company with at least 11 employees.
Questions included how often the respondents experienced symptoms that might indicate their mental health was taking a hit, such as sweating and rapid heartbeat.
The survey also asked how these people’s anxieties affected their jobs and if they felt that had good mental health support in their workplace.
The results, published in the Harvard Business Review, showed 60 percent said they had experienced symptoms of mental health conditions in the past year.
However, only 20 percent of the overall respondents said they’d left work because of it.
Millennial’s were three times more likely to experience anxiety – and GenZers were four times more likely – compared to baby boomers.
Results found that millennial’s were also the most likely – at 63 percent – to know how to ask for mental health support services at their companies in comparison with baby boomers.
Kelly Greenwood, CEO and founder of Mind Share Partners, told the DailyMail.com that the findings represented a culture change between older and younger generations.
‘The first is self awareness of mental health conditions, and part of it, too, is millennials and GenZers realizing they have options and they don’t need to stick around somewhere that will be detrimental to their health,’ she said.
Survey answers varied not only by age, but also by race.
Results showed that nearly 50 percent of black and Hispanic participants had left a job for mental health reasons in comparison with 32 percent of white participants.
Minorities also had higher rates of every mental health symptom compared to all respondents.
‘Minorities already face challenges in the workplace, so it seems logical that would increase the level of mental heath symptoms and then to get out of environments that aren’t really serving them,’ Greenwood said.
The survey also found that mental health impacted work performance, with 61 percent saying their mental health affected productivity and 37 percent reporting that their job environment contributed to their symptoms.
A 2005 report from the National Business Group found that more than 200 million work days are lost each year because of mental health conditions each year.
That equates to about R250 billion in lost employee productivity.
Additionally, 86 percent of respondents in the new survey said they believe a company’s culture should support mental health.
But the authors said that mental health in the workplace still remains a taboo subject.
‘The media often does a disservice by portraying people with mental health conditions as school shooters or homeless folks with addiction problems,’ Greenwood said.
‘So while I think it’s great that celebrities and actors are coming out discussing their mental health conditions, I think business leaders need to be coming out as well. It needs to be something that’s okay to talk about at work.’