The Vital Link Between Human Connection and Well-Being

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In today’s digital age, where technology shapes the lives of Gen Z, the profound connection between human well-being and interpersonal relationships remains a fundamental truth. This connection manifests both in the online realm and in face-to-face interactions. Discord, as a platform, is deeply committed to prioritizing the needs of its users. In our increasingly interconnected world, platforms like Discord have assumed a pivotal role in bolstering the mental health and well-being of their users. Our ethos revolves around the creation of a nurturing, inclusive, and positive space. Unlike platforms that rely on advertisements and algorithm-driven content, we are driven by the vision of facilitating meaningful connections and fostering robust, supportive friendships. Discord has evolved into a global hub where individuals can authentically connect and build genuine relationships.

Understanding the Challenges of Gen Z
We are acutely aware of the challenges confronting young people today, especially Gen Z. Extensive research indicates a concerning decline in the mental health of Gen Z over recent years, exacerbated by a multitude of societal pressures and personal anxieties. Given that many of our users belong to this generation, it is imperative for platforms like Discord to gain deeper insights into the mental well-being of these users.

In May 2023, we conducted a comprehensive study in the United States, the results of which can be found [here](insert link). To gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by our users in France, Germany, and the UK, we collaborated with YouGov to conduct a similar study. This research involved surveying over 3,000 Gen Z members (aged 18 to 25) and more than 1,600 of their parents across these three countries. The aim was to gain a deeper understanding of the context in which our users live and explore how online platforms can contribute to addressing mental health challenges.

Here’s a summary of our findings:

Perception Discrepancy in European Markets
In European markets, a significant perception discrepancy exists. While parents believe that their Gen Z children predominantly experience positive emotions, Gen Zers themselves describe three of their top four emotional states as negative.

Stress and Anxiety Prevalent Among Gen Z
Stress and anxiety are the prevailing emotions among Gen Zers, surpassing feelings of love, happiness, and hope. This trend is particularly pronounced in the UK, where 74% of Gen Zers report these negative emotions, compared to 57% in France and 48% in Germany.

Common Concerns Across Generations
Both Gen Zers and their parents in the UK, Germany, and France share the same top three concerns: the cost of living crisis, climate change, and social inequity.

Societal Pressures on Gen Z
The impact of societal pressures on Europe’s Gen Z generation has resulted in growing unease and uncertainty about their careers, finances, and the future.

Barriers to Seeking Help
Alarmingly, nearly 30% of Gen Zers in both Europe and the US are hesitant to seek help for their mental health issues, primarily due to embarrassment. A lack of awareness is a significant barrier, with 76% of Gen Zers in the UK, Germany, and France unable to name an online resource for mental health support.

A Way Forward
Despite these challenges, Gen Zers are open to seeking help. Four in five Gen Zers view seeking mental health support as an act of bravery, not weakness.

Collaborative Support
Support for Gen Z must be a collaborative effort. An overwhelming 89% of Gen Zers believe that their parents have the most significant role in supporting their mental health, followed by healthcare systems and educational institutions.

Empowering through Education
Educational institutions have an opportunity to raise awareness about healthy online practices and enhance positive experiences. Forty percent of Gen Zers acknowledge the potential negative impact of online communication platforms on their lives, including reduced time spent with family and friends in the real world.

The Power of Online Communities
When adequate mental health resources are in place, online platforms can serve as safe spaces for users to connect and share their thoughts. A quarter of Gen Zers feel less alone in their mental health struggles when they are part of an online group.

Discord’s Commitment
Discord is dedicated to empowering individuals to create spaces where they can find belonging in their lives. This is crucial for fostering authentic connections and meaningful conversations, which, in turn, reduce feelings of isolation and provide guidance when needed. Discord servers and conversations can become places where individuals share and support each other. We firmly believe that online platforms should play an active role in ongoing conversations about mental health.

Bridging the Gap
The past few years have presented significant challenges for Gen Z, resulting in prevalent feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, and loneliness. Our study aims to initiate a broader conversation about overcoming these challenges. It calls upon various stakeholders, including online platforms like Discord, to facilitate open dialogues on how to best support young people across Europe. Collaboration is key, with parents, educators, policymakers, and industry players working together to address the current struggles faced by young people.

Our combined efforts will not only help dispel negative stereotypes and stigmas surrounding mental health but also redefine societal norms and remove barriers to accessing information and care. Bridging the gap between awareness and action requires all of us to work together to ensure that Gen Z does not face these challenges alone.

For a detailed exploration of our findings, please read the full white paper, “Gen Z Mental Health: Empowering Conversation in an Uncertain World,”

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