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Mental Wellness Benefits Are Utilized More By (& Very Important To) Younger Employees

Posted by: Karen Booher on March 29th, 2023

Gone are the days when our employees are just expected to “tough it out” on their own through bad times. However, the four generations in today’s workforce take advantage of, and view, available resources for mental health challenges differently.

Workplace mental wellness benefits are being utilized by younger generations more than by older generations in the workforce, according to a survey of 2,500 employees of American organizations between August 30 – September 9, 2022, by Securian Financial.

In terms of usage of mental health benefits, the survey found the following in terms of utilization of these offerings, by generation:

Additionally, while 65% of Generation Z and 60% of Millennial workers say it’s “very important” for their employers to provide mental wellness benefits, only 49% of Generation X and 45% of Baby Boomer workers say the same.

Different Generations; Different Perspectives

The study found that the different generations in the workforce today approach the topic of mental health from different perspectives and experiences.

Generation Z – the youngest generation still early in their careers or just entering the workforce, expect access to mental health services. Leveraging mental wellness resources is normalized for this generation.

“I found out about [mental wellness benefits] through the interview when [the employer] mentioned it to me, and the offering was very positive, which made it very intriguing and made the decision to try it way easier,” said a Gen Z survey participant.

Millennials – they were raised to believe mental health challenges are problematic but fixable. They’re inclined to have the attitude of rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.

“I think having or using mental health resources should be allowed on all fronts. Different people require different methods. An online or offline method [through work] should be available to anyone depending on their need,” said a Millennial survey participant.

Generation X – they recognize access to mental health services can be problematic but just tries to get through it.

“There are only about five elderly [mental wellness] counselors [available to me through work]. There needs to be a better choice in providers,” said a Gen X survey participant.

Baby Boomers – the oldest generation with representation still in the workforce, were taught to tough it out and not talk about mental health challenges.

“I was raised in a family where we don’t share what we are thinking, and we just move on. It’s a hard concept to change in your later years,” said a Baby Boomer survey participant.

The Most Common and Most Used Mental Wellness Benefits

The top 5 mental wellness benefits those surveyed said they have through work include:

The top 5 mental wellness benefits utilized by those surveyed, if they have them, are:

“Employers should explore which mental wellness benefits are expected from their employees and consider expanding the variety of benefits if there is a disconnect between what they offer and what employees want,” said Darin Reeser, a Securian Financial regional director for supplemental health benefits. “Our survey found that while only a little more than one-third of employers offer mental health days off, many employees – particularly Gen Z employees – say it is the most important mental wellness benefit.”


ASA Staffing Today, 3/7/2023. “More Younger Employees Use Workplace Mental Wellness Benefits, Say They Are “Very Important“, by Securian Financial.

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