Mental health: Generation Z is now “the loneliest generation”

Young people suffer from

Young people struggle to balance real and digital relationships (Picture:

According to a new study, people under the age of 24 – generally referred to as “Gen Z” – are now the loneliest generation.

Campaigners have called for more to be done to address the impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis on young people.

New data has shown that three times as many 16-24 year olds – 19% – often or always feel lonely compared to 65-74 year olds – at 6%.

The research, published by Eden Project Communities, also found that young people and city dwellers are hardest hit by isolation, contrary to stereotypes that older people suffer the most.

Only 14% of 16-24 year olds surveyed say they have never felt alone.

London-based Steve Barnabis is determined to change the narrative surrounding Gen Z and loneliness.

He lost his 16-year-old cousin to a knife crime in 2004 and, as a result, started the charity Project Zero.

He told ‘We see a wide range of issues across all the age groups we work with.

Steve Barnabis is working to bring young people together in real relationships (Picture: Project Zero)

Steve Barnabis is working to bring young people together in real relationships (Picture: Project Zero)

“With the youngest, there is certainly an increase in anxieties and a lack of confidence and self-esteem.

“Lots of motivational issues too, especially for those taking exams during Covid. They think things like “what’s the point of going to school and taking exams for so many years”.

“The pandemic has been a real blow to a lot of young people.”

An ever-changing digital age has seen young people rely on digital connections rather than in-person experiences.

Project Zero hosts a community center with a cafe, radio station and event hall – to allow young people to enjoy real-life activities rather than staying at home.

The community project also offers youth engagement projects to promote social inclusion and reduce delinquent and anti-social behavior.

Steve added: “There are phones and technology that these kids have to keep in touch with each other, but somehow it’s harder for young people to connect with each other.

“After Covid, many find it difficult to go out and socialize again. There was a time when kids were more dependent on phones and pressured to rely on technology – so it will be hard to break away from that mindset.

Eden Communities’ recent data on loneliness explored the demographic profile of areas of England and Wales from the recent 2021 census.

She confirmed that the highest proportion of young people live in city centers, where 17% of people report chronic feelings of loneliness.

Tracey Robbins, practitioner at The Eden Project and recognized expert on loneliness, said: “The extent of loneliness in young adults may be related to social media, frequent life changes and transitions, or moving to another place. cities where people often live alone or in a room in a shared house.

“Pandemic social restrictions have left a legacy leading to reduced confidence in connecting with others.

“Today, the rising cost of living limits social opportunities.

“The good news is that the feeling of being part of a community can help, so it’s a brilliant motivation for everyone to reach out and start connecting.”

Tracey and Eden Project Communities urged communities to work together to reduce isolation.

You can host a #BigLunch or visit the organization’s website for tips on how you can make a difference against the loneliness epidemic.

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