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Posted By Fuller Harvey On June 25, 2018

Millennials: Behavioral Health Change-makers

As we wind down our blog series spotlighting Millennials and the changes they are bringing to the healthcare arena, we are examining one more sector:  behavioral health.  We’ll do this across two blogs.  The first is classic Bad News/Good News examination of statistics regarding Millennials and mental health issues.

Our concluding article on Millennials will double as a springboard into our next series:  more discussion on the public and behavioral health crisis involving opioid abuse.  As Millennials are a key generation being afflicted by devastating addiction issues, they should have a prominent seat at the table for any coverage of the subject.

It’s profoundly clear: behavioral health agencies need to get their ducks in a row in order to ramp up service to Millennials.

The Bad News/Good News regarding Millennials and Mental Health

The Bad News is that Millennials are statistically revealing themselves to be both more likely than previous generations to be prone to anxiety and stress-related depression.  The Good News? They are also more likely to seek help and less likely to feel stigmatized by mental health diagnoses.

For a window in the minds of Millennials, one need look no further than the lyrics of the currently number one ranking song on Billboard’s Top 40 (Adult Pop Songs):

“Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons[i]

Falling too fast to prepare for this
Tripping in the world could be dangerous
Everybody circling, it’s vulturous
Negative, nepotist …

Hypocritical, egotistical
Don’t wanna be the parenthetical, hypothetical
Working onto something that I’m proud of, out of the box
An epoxy to the world and the vision we’ve lost
I’m an apostrophe
I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see
I’m just a product of the system, a catastrophe
And yet a masterpiece, and yet I’m half-diseased.

The lyrics point to an anxious generation – but one determined to work on “something that (they’re) proud of” and be the “epoxy”, healing change-agent, to a hurting, broken world, because there’s “more to see.”  They feel like a “masterpiece” – but yet they feel “half-diseased.”

Millennials and Mental Health

A recent Newsweek article (published on May 9, 2018) states:

“A survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that anxious feelings increased the most over the past year among baby boomers (between 54 and 72 years of age) in comparison to Generation Zers (38 to 53), and Millennials (20 to 37). However, Millennials continued to be the most anxious overall.”

A recent Newsweek article (published on May 9, 2018) states:

“A survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that anxious feelings increased the most over the past year among baby boomers (between 54 and 72 years of age) in comparison to Generation Zers (38 to 53), and Millennials (20 to 37). However, Millennials continued to be the most anxious overall.”

Services Behavioral Health Agencies can Implement for Milliennials:

Transportation assistance:

Millennials are wishy-washy on car ownership (and even are changing the norms regarding getting a driver’s license as a rite of passage), and are very Uber- and Lyft- savvy.  Behavioral Health agencies should consider getting connected with Uber Health or other transportation assistance services both to decrease no-show rates and increase the opportunity for success in any treatment program.

Electronic chart management:

Utilizing a cloud-based electronic health record platform helps behavioral health agencies successfully streamline charting and reporting capabilities for employees; it also leverages integrated care for head-to-toe/brain-to-heart treatment of clients. Also of significance, it presents a forward-thinking image to this forward-thinking generation.  (See previous blog posts as to why.)

Communication via smart phone technology:

Using an EHR with the option of a Communicator App which automatically sends reminders for appointments can make communicating with Millennials not only easy (and save clinic personnel hours), it also enable you to speak their lingo.

As Stephen Giunta, Ph.D., president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association notes, “The field is adapting to the next generation that’s coming its way,” Giunta says. “[But] the field doesn’t always adapt as fast as the generation does.”

Don’t let that be water off a duck’s back: get those ducks in a row.  

Other Articles in the Millennials Series:

Millennials and Healthcare – Get Ready!

Millennials: Technology Change-Makers

Millennials: Customer Service Change-makers

Millennials: How to Hire and How to Retain These HR Change-makers

Millennials’ Dark Side: Change-makers of Life Expectancy

 

[i] Songwriters: Benjamin Arthur McKee / Daniel Coulter Reynolds / Daniel James Platzman / Daniel Wayne Sermon / Joel Little

Whatever It Takes lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

About Fuller Harvey

Fuller is a creative consultant who is bringing her passion for connective, encouraging, and practical communication to Patagonia Health. She considers her greatest strength to be creating an adhesive environment where individuals are valued, supported and celebrated for the contributions they bring to the “team table” and where all communication -both within and without the company – has positive purpose and impact.

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