Zoomers are suffering from anxiety and lack of sleep, while struggling to make and keep friendships, according to a national youth wellbeing study by Australian digital youth engagement platform, Year13, in partnership with student accommodation provider, Scape.
In the partnership’s first 2023 Gen Z Wellbeing Index, approximately two-thirds of young Australians were recorded as saying they have problems getting a good night’s sleep (66 per cent) and suffer from anxiety (61 per cent), while those struggling to make friends (41 per cent) and suffering from loneliness (37 per cent) were potentially noting an overall impact on their wellbeing, with 37 per cent considering their mental health to be only fair or poor.
The research was carried out in in May and explored the mental health, exercise, sleep and diet patterns of more than 1,000 young Australians and 900 Scape residents aged between 18 and 24 years.
Year13 and Scape also found that half (51 per cent) of young Australians say the rising cost of living is negatively impacting their wellbeing. Nearly half suffer from low self-esteem (46 per cent), wake up feeling tired and lethargic (45 per cent) and are suffering from poor body image (44 per cent).
More than a third consider themselves to be lonely and think their mental health is only “fair” or “poor” (41 per cent).
Just over a third of young Australians say they have a purpose (35 per cent); are physically active enough (37 per cent); eat enough healthy food (37 per cent); and spend enough time outdoors (32 per cent).
Year13 co-founder, Saxon Phipps, said that many of the prevalent findings in the data were previously considered non-issues for many young people.
“Loneliness and making friends are now real issues for this age group. Coupled with the cost of living and burnout, it is becoming clear that wellbeing intervention is urgently needed to help young people navigate their life transition from school to adulthood and independence,” Mr Phipps said.
“For many, our wellness habits and our wellbeing are intimately linked. Supporting young people’s wellbeing is vital to driving improved outcomes across all aspects of their lives, including their education, and into their future.”
Almost three-quarters of 78 per cent of young Australians said the cost-of-living issue concerned them, making it their top issue of concern, followed by housing/rental affordability (67 per cent), climate change (60 per cent) and mental health (57 per cent).