A new survey finds Americans are reporting significant stress in 2020, and the youngest generation is most impacted.
A new national survey by the American Psychological Association shows that Americans' mental health is suffering from all the tension. The survey finds that the youngest generation, "Gen Z," is reporting the highest levels of stress and depressive symptoms of all adults. Adults ages 18 to 23 and teens ages 13 to 17 are considered Gen Z.
"One important part of this time period of life is finding your place in the world, both the world of social relationships, as well as the world of education and work. And this generation of young adults is really struggling," says developmental psychologist Dr. Emma Adam.
Dr. Adam says stress related to the pandemic, the economy, racism, and the election are all factors. "Those social connections are really important, so we need to help them find safe ways to socialize,” says Adam. “But perhaps more importantly, is that we need the availability of mental health services for this generation of youth."
Michelle Rojas is starting her senior year at home. The 17-year-old is learning virtually and missing her teachers and friends. She says she's missing seeing them in person, and, she says “having that structure where we would just eat lunch together every day, or every weekday, and like, participate in the same clubs after school."
Rojas founded a group for student mental health reform. "Many schools across the US have sick days. But what about for mental health? So, we're currently working on that," she says.
The high school senior stays connected with friends through texts and virtual school events. She wants to become a psychologist to give back to her community.
The survey also found overall that nearly eight in 10 adults say the pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives. Three in five say the many issues the country is facing are overwhelming to them.