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Gen Z putting on a brave face, but overwhelmed by family and career pressures

Gen Z putting on a brave face, but overwhelmed by family and career pressures

When looking at the sources of overwhelming stress for Gen Z across APAC, family pressures (65%) followed by career pressures (48%) and relationships with friends (41%) rank highest.

A study by Sandpiper Communications finds those in Generation Z (Gen Z) across Asia Pacific are putting on a brave face amid COVID-19, as 73% of those surveyed are experiencing elevated stress levels due to COVID-19, and 57% say their mental health has worsened. In spite of this, only 41% of Gen Zs across APAC are comfortable talking about their mental health.

Titled The Brave Face of Gen Z, the study is based on a survey of 1,226 Gen Zers (aged 18 to 24 years) across APAC in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

When looking at the sources of overwhelming stress for Gen Z across APAC, family pressures (65%) followed by career pressures (48%) and relationships with friends (41%) rank highest.

Interestingly, 71% of Gen Zs say the economic fallout of COVID-19 has negatively affected their wellbeing, followed by travel bans at 68% - ranking ahead of concerns about friends and family being infected with COVID-19 (62%) or themselves being infected (58%).

Talking about friends and family, having access to social media has been seen as both a blessing and a curse for Gen Z. Across all markets, while nearly one quarter (24%) say social media has helped their mental health during COVID-19, more than one third (34%) feel it has had a negative influence.

Of those who believe social media has had a positive impact, 69% attribute this to being able to connect with family and friends. Two in three (66%) feel social media has been a source of distraction to pass time, with 66% citing increased boredom during COVID-19.

Of those who feel negatively about social media's impact, close to half (48%) across APAC say the lack of real connection with friends and loved ones has in fact worsened their mental health and wellbeing. Almost two in five (38%) also expressed that social media has inadvertently pressured them to be constantly “busy” despite feeling negative about the pandemic situation.

Emma Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Sandpiper Communications, said: "It is concerning that despite Gen Zs suffering increased mental health and wellbeing pressures during COVID-19, they still struggle to talk about these issues. While the increasing focus on betterment can be seen as a positive outtake from COVID-19, there’s also a risk that without strong communications, openness and transparency around mental wellbeing, it may mask deeper issues."

Photo / 123RF

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