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Shedding light on young adult mental health

Nearly half (46%) of young adults say they have suffered from anxiety in the past 12 months.

Aviva’s 2017 wellbeing report helped to shed light on some of the health issues affecting adults in the UK, and found some interesting insights into mental health, especially young adults (16-24 year olds).

Young people smiling at the camera
Don't call us snowflakes

The research found that young adults (16-24) are more likely than any other age groups to say they have experienced a mental health condition1 but yet are the least comfortable discussing their mental health problems2, suggesting millions of young adults in the UK could be going undiagnosed or ignored.

Nearly half (46%) of young adults say they have suffered from anxiety in the past 12 months, significantly higher than UK adults (35%). Depression is also more common amongst this younger age group3

A separate study by Aviva health insurance also found that people’s use of the term ‘Generation Snowflake’ to describe young adults who are seen as being more prone to taking offence, more emotionally vulnerable and less resilient than previous generations, may be making this situation worse.

According to the study, nearly three quarters of people (72%) aged 16-24 said the term is unfairly applied to people in their age bracket, while a similar number (74%) feel it could have a negative effect on people’s mental health. 

However, 6 out of 10 UK adults (59%) also agree that young people are facing greater challenges than previous generations, and a similar number (57%) feel that society should be more understanding and sympathetic towards them.

1 (63% v 47% UK adults)
2 (33% vs 27% UK adults)
3 (39% vs 30% UK adults)