In today’s workforce, the millennial generation accounts for 34% of New Zealand jobs and is only expected to grow more in the coming year. Despite workplace or economic setbacks, millennials hold their ground in quickly adapting to new environments, regardless of the negative comments that come from unwarranted stereotypes.

While young professionals may get a bad rap for ordering “avo on toast,” they also experience some of the darker sides of mental health issues that influence their productivity at work. It is estimated that 3 in 5 of New Zealanders will experience a mental health issue within their lifetime. This includes disorders involving anxiety, depression, mood, personality, body image, alcohol, and substance abuse. 


The Culture Surrounding Mental Health Awareness 

The trouble for many young professionals is the culture surrounding asking for help with mental health. For young professionals working in Dunedin, there is an unspoken reality that many feel there are no accessible mental health options available to them. It also comes along with the fear of negative responses from their peers and workmates if they seek professional help. 

The social pressure surrounding a person and potential toxic work environments carve out a path that many millennials fall into, causing long-term battles with mental illness. As a result, they try to hide their anxiety at work. Yet, it can often reveal itself in a person when they appear distracted during the day. This can lead to poor work performance, or in some cases, even losing their job. 


How You Can Be A Part Of Supporting Young Professionals In Dunedin

Whether you own a business, are involved in the arts scene in town, or work alongside young professionals, you have the opportunity to shift the culture surrounding mental health awareness and encouraging individuals to get the help they need. 

For those internally suffering, the biggest influence for them in being receptive to seeking help is the simple act of showing that you care. Ask your workmate or employee if there is a way you can support them through a tough circumstance, or discuss options that could help them focus better at work.

If you run a local business, consider offering employee wellness packages that help young professionals incorporate practices to relieve stress and increase a positive mindset. Employees thrive knowing they are well looked after and are making a difference in their work. 

You have the power to positively contribute to the future of Dunedin’s community just by being aware and sharing pathways for young people to access mental health resources. In return, you are helping young minds positively contribute to the local businesses of today, that lead to the success of Aotearoa tomorrow.