top of page

Mental Health Across Generations

Past so called 'simple life' v busy present life

From the beginning of humankind, we lived much simpler lives in terms of situation however even then we had problems such as famine/hunger and survival in the wild. Dating back to the caveman times not classified as anxiety /depression or other but rather just general fear and doubt. In more closer times the generation that went to war deal with severe mental health derived from trauma of violence and loss of comrades. Leading on from this is the millennium generation which dealt with the economic crisis of 2008, such as the cost-of-living crisis we are dealing with now. Nowadays for generation Z we deal with social media affecting every part of our lives, generational trauma passed down and cost of living. Simpler times of living off land still comes with a toll on mental health however a busy way of life limits the amount of rest and actual breaks we can have.

Severity of issues and coping levels

Discrepancy between life issues such as famine/hunger/poverty/war and other more modern-led issues such as social media pressure, cost of living crisis, does not mean level of severity is the same as one issue being easier. Dealing with problems is what is a root of mental health problems, therefore applicable to every human on this planet regardless of their background, age, and gender.

Statistics between generations and attitudes towards mental health

Mental health being applicable to every human being ensures that throughout generations, grandparents, parents, and children will have the likelihood of experiencing certain mental health issues. For the elderly a greater percentage suffer from depression and dementia a staggering 15% over 60 will be dealing with a mental health problem. On a study carried out by the American Psychological association, Out of the Millennials 56% rate themselves as having a good mental health which is greater than the Gen-Z generation of only 45%. As it passes from generation to generation, the percentage of those who believe they have a good mental health state decreases which is concerning.

This may be affected by the greater levels of connectivity of the world and knowledge of mental health itself, mental health issues are far more accepted in the present compared to the past as seen by the horrible events of mental asylums in the early 19th century . Which lead to the cruel abuse of those who were deemed incompatible to live with others due to the issues they were facing; instead of providing help they were separated from society. Therefore, highlighting how society's attitudes towards mental health heavily influences the treatment of individuals suffering.

Example of an event in history which impacted millions of people’s mental health regardless of generation

Mental health issues being passed down generations also means attitudes and approaches to a healthy mental state can also be passed through family, whether this is positive or negative. Quite recently, a situation we all had to deal with and are still affected by was the covid-19 pandemic which caused an uproar in mental health issues due to the affect it had on people's physical health. This providing a light to the importance of community and leaving your house to exercise and socialise. Furthermore, displaying how negative media being fed through sources of the T.V and social media can severely impact your outlook on the world.

Attitudes of older generations on the severity of problems today compared to past society

Personally, the level of severity linking to the issues we face in our lifetime are the direct problems in which how we cope can result in an impacted mental health state. The argument put across by certain individuals that past issues are more severe than present issues can be seemed truthful however as a population we must favour a present generation which deems to focus quite heavily on looking after their mental health even when dealing with generations from the past who would ridicule them for doing so. Mental health issues themselves are not unfamiliar problems which arose in the present but rather problems which have been shed a light on and now on the way to be treated with the same level of respect as those linked to physical health.

Physical health and mental health are intertwined as the proportional relationship between them shows and implement in physical health results in an improvement of mental health and vice versa. Therefore, we should treat them both with the same level of concern.


bottom of page