New survey reveals millennial anxiety over social interactions

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New research by Medibank's ahm has found more than half of all millennials are feeling daunted about some social interactions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People are considered millennials if they were born between 1981 and 1996.

The ahm mindset survey involved more than 1,000 participants. It found millennial women (60 per cent) were more likely to feel nervous than men (47 per cent) about attending certain social events, like parties.

Millennials in Queensland were the most likely to say they felt daunted (57 per cent), followed by NSW/ACT (56 per cent), Western Australia (55 per cent), South Australia (49 per cent) and Victoria (47 per cent).

Psychologist and head of clinical quality and innovation, Jason Vella, said the sentiment is understandable given the restrictions that have been imposed since the onset of the pandemic.

“We’ve had to change the way we express affection to family and friends, so a simple party may present a challenge to how we behave around each other. It may also make some people feel they could be putting themselves at risk of COVID-19 infection.”

“I’d encourage Australians to have a think about what their new normal will be with regard to socialising. Make the most of the opportunities that allow you to socialise according to your personal comfort level and I urge all Australians to not wait until you are at crisis point to consider seeing a mental health professional," said Mr Vella.

The research also found that 63 per cent of millennials who said they were not currently feeling '100 per cent mentally strong' have not been to see a healthcare professional.

They attributed not seeing a healthcare professional to anxiety and a decision to work on it themselves. Over 60 per cent said cost was an additional barrier.

According to ahm senior executive Rob Deeming, “This month is Mental Health Month, and ahm is encouraging all Australians to reach out for mental health support, sooner rather than later.

“ahm has a range of options to support our customers including access to a 24/7 Mental Health Phone Support (1800 644 325), telehealth-based psychology services and now the addition of counselling on eligible extras cover.

“The addition of counselling to ahm’s extras cover makes it’s simpler and more affordable for customers to access the care they need when they need it.”