Gen Z more likely to ditch work for a ‘mental health’ day here’s why that concerns job experts

Talk aboutill-gotten gains.

As sick as it might sound, mental health issues among young people are at an all-time high.

Due to the rise of Gen Zers with common mental disorders (CMD), such as anxiety and depression spurred by everyday issues like breakups, meeting deadlines and the pressures of social media employees in their early 20s are far more likely to call out of work for a mental health day than millennials and Gen Xers over age 40, per a February 2024 report.

Even more surprising, an alarming number of zillennials grappling with the run-of-the-mill conditions are forgoing the workforce altogether, remaining jobless in the name of mental wellness.

Youth worklessness due to ill health is a real and growing trend, said analysts from Resolution Foundation, an economic and social policy hub in the UK. 

It is worrying that young people in their early 20s, just embarking on their adult life, are more likely to be out of work due to ill health than those in their early 40s, study authors added. 

The three-year investigation into the relationship between the mental health and work outcomes of young people found that more than 34% of Gen Zers experienced symptoms of CMD. That’s a significantly higher count than the 24% of young adults who felt burned out by the internal wear and tear of daily life in 2000. Of course, at that time, the cost of living was much cheaper, and the threat of contracting a deadly worldwide virus was less.

Although the earth-quaking effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are partly to blame for the recent uptick, researchers say the increase in reported mental health problems among youngsters boomed since the mid-2010s.

In the past decade, the number of young people aged 18 to 24 who were out of work due to ill health has more than doubled, rising from 93,000 to 190,000, noted the clinicians.

Between 2020 and 2023, two in five young people (42%) who were workless due to ill health stated that a mental health problem was their main health problem.

And it’s the ladies who are leading the jobless-over-stress charge.

Young women today are over 1.6 times (41%) as likely to experience CMD than young men, noted the report. This gap has increased since 2010 to 2011, when young women were only 1.4 times (28%) as likely to experience a CMD compared to young men.

The trend of Gen Z gals prioritizing mental and emotional self-care is at a fever pitch and its positive effects are trickling down to their kids.

New Jersey mom Noel LaPalomento, 26, told The Post that granting herself and her 6-year-old daughter a mental health day away from their daily grinds allows for carefree mommy-and-me bonding time.

And healthcare professionals seem all in favor of the brain betterment movement.

Nicholette Leanza, a psychotherapist at LifeStance Health in Ohio, predicts that young employees will continue abandoning the no days off work mentality in order to support their own mindfulness. 

I see young people being significantly more open and transparent about discussing mental health at work, Leanza told Fox News late last year. This is shifting the way we think about work-life balance and communication in the workplace.

But Resolution Foundation fieldworkers warn that skipping out on shifts or refusing to work at all during ones 20s could have longterm ramifications.

mind your business

The heightened prevalence of worklessness among young people with mental health problems is concerning, said the probers, referring to the adverse reaction workers can have on a countrys economy.

Spells of worklessness in early adulthood not only impact peoples living standards in the moment, but also have scarring impacts on young peoples future employment prospects and lifetime living standards.