Nearly one in three millennials suffers from mental health conditions, and COVID-19 is only making it worse, says a new study.
Over a five-year period, there’s been a downward trend in the health of millennials (aged 22-37), says the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association study. Researchers found among millennials, there’s been a:
- 43% increase in major depression
- 39% increase in ADHD, and
- 17% increase in substance abuse.
Most millennials (92%) said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, leading to increases in drug use, drinking, smoking and vaping.
These behavioral health conditions put millennials at roughly twice the risk of having chronic physical conditions, such as:
- high cholesterol (1.7x)
- hypertension (1.9x)
- Crohn’s disease/colitis (1.9x)
- Type 2 diabetes (2.1x), and
- coronary artery disease (2.7x).
To prevent a behavioral health epidemic among millennials, firms need to familiarize them with their employee health benefits. Here’s how:
- Stress holistic health: Educate workers on the importance of primary care – the best place for them to begin to access the healthcare system for physical and mental health.
- Ensure convenience: Offer multiple access points to virtual care and digital wellness apps, specifically in the areas of behavioral health.
- Consider new approaches: Firms are providing more personalized approaches to health care – which caters to millennials. For example, Wellvolution is a new offering that mixes a digital platform with a wellness program that matches workers with providers based on their health goals.