Most Millennials Feel Insecure About Finances & Life. Our Mental Health Is Suffering.

As a millennial, I always hear about mental health and mental illness. From my friends, other millennials, from the older generations, we talk about the importance of mental health all the time and how we need to confront and heal our internal wounds. Ironically, under the same breath, I constantly hear the banter of generations before us (even of those who are only 10 years old than me), about how millennials are soft, lazy, and have no sense of work ethic. It’s exhausting, to be honest. It’s tiring having to defend your generation, and bring up facts and receipts (like people ask for), just to have our struggles and views turned down, belittled, and minimized. This only adds to the struggle millennials carry when it comes to mental health.

As we close out 2017 and enter into 2018, I think it’s time that we start taking the mental health of millennials seriously. Millennials are becoming more vocal about the mistreatment and mental abuse we’re facing and we just seem to be getting swept under the rug and ignored. Whenever millennials voice the struggles we’re facing, we’re always deemed as dramatic and complaining, when in reality, we’re dealing with issues (and sometimes in silence) that are crippling our ability to maneuver at work, in social settings, or just society in general.

Millennials are living in a confusing time right now. We are constantly being told to achieve higher, yet generations before us aren’t giving us the opportunity to do so. Every day someone is calling us lazy and entitled, while many of us can barely make ends meet. When we do have a job, we get paid the bare minimum, we barely have health coverage, and most likely it’s not related to the area we earned our degree in.

How can we take mental health, especially in the Black community, seriously if our issues are being seen as less than?

Millennials are facing challenges that most people from older generations can’t fathom. For starters, millennials can’t afford higher education. The cost of college is getting out of control. Millennials are the most educated, yet the most underpaid generation in history. The percentage of us living at home with our parents is on the rise.

African American woman thinking about moneyMillennials have two or three streams of income not because we want to, but because we have to. When the only jobs we can get are those that only pay $10 per hour with no health benefits, that only leads us to buy our basic (and I do mean basic) needs of living: soap, beauty products, and clothes. If we want to move out of our parent’s home and afford the extended necessities (as I call them) in life such as a car and medical expenses, we need to think beyond society’s norm to attain the lifestyle we want and to build wealth. This is daunting and mentally draining in a time when there aren’t that many job opportunities.

Due to us being paid at such a low rate, most millennials still depend on…