Millennial's & Mental Illness

Mental health has a stigma and the older the generation, the more there is surrounding it. But in your parent’s and grandparent’s defense, mental health levels were nowhere near what they are now when they were growing up. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that today, more than 5 million college students struggle with mental health, and 25% of those students have a diagnosable mental illness and have been treated or are currently being treated for it. Suicide is the second largest killer of college students, which is three times the rate from 1950. However, due to the predominance of mental illness in the millennial generation, we are becoming more open to talking about it, and on our way to breaking the stigma.

Mental illness is also starting to affect a younger generation, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 1 in 5 children in America, aged 3 to 17, have a diagnosable mental or behavioral disorder in a year. That is a troubling 15 million children struggling each year. Newer mental health studies have shown that depression can start at 2 to 5 years old, which is a lot younger than most would think. There have been many reasons that attribute to this spike in mental illness such as a growing generation of “helicopter parents”, social media, an increase in international/national threats and terrors, and a rise in performance pressures. These high levels of mental illnesses are still on a rising trend. Just from 2005 to 2015, cases of depression rose by nearly one fifth. But with all of these grim statistics, there is still hope.

With this generation having such high rates of mental illness, the conversation has never been more open, and the stigma is slowly decreasing. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, make sure to reach out and make sure they are not alone. Letting someone know you are there for them is the most important thing you can do as a friend, family member, or even a peer. There are also free hotlines and resources available to use, and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline listed below is 24/7. Remember to treat everyone with kindness, it just may mean the world to someone.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline


Millersville Counseling Center