As a generation, we are more open in discussing our mental health problems, and the taboo around the topic has – if not ended – certainly gone a long way in removing the social stigma around it.
Millennials are often mocked by the ‘we bought our houses for 12p and a bottle of milk’ generation, with those 50+ year olds – with a couple of divorces under their belts – frivolous in their sweeping statements of a generation they view as ‘self-entitled, mentally weak’.
But the very fact that, since the turn of the Millennium, to the end of 2015, suicides amongst 20-35 year olds has risen by 27%, highlights the issues of mental health – in April, a Colorado school saw seven of its students commit suicide, which saw the removal of the Netflix hit ’13 Reasons Why’ removed from its library.
Such shows, though, although a bit over-the-top, are important; the message(s) they’re getting across are important in our social development.
But why the rising issues around suicide?
Despite the lines continually trotted out about spend on mental health, just in the United Kingdom, this year, Sefton, Scarborough, the Isle of Wight, St Helens and Walsall announced in a reduction on mental health spend by £4.5million – which, you won’t be surprised to read, was a direct contradiction of Theresa May’s promise that an extra £1billion would be invested into the area by the year 2021.
“This goes against the pronouncements of Government that mental health will have priority, that we will see more support in the community, the promises we’ve had that there will be greater numbers of mental health workers in primary care.
“Cutting the mental health budget will have a reverse and damaging effect.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP Committee
Perhaps the issue isn’t financial, though? After all, there’s no point spending good money over bad if the initial approaches aren’t working.
The issues the millennial generation have, in terms of mental health, come from things such as cyber bullying, marrying later in life, being more career-driven, relocating regularly due to work and unattainable body images – all things that were either, non-existent three decades ago or certainly nowhere near as big of an issue.
Has the training for dealing in mental health developed enough? Has it moved with the times?
You get the feeling that somewhere in the world, they’re still drilling into people’s heads as a way of dealing with mental health, just like they did in years gone by.