Zillennials are Shifting the Narrative Around Mental Health

Zillennials are Shifting the Narrative Around Mental Health (Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images)

New York City, NYMillennials and Gen Z are committed to being the generations that normalize the conversations about mental health, but let’s not forget to enter Zilliennials into the chat.

What is a "Zillennial'' you may ask? (sometimes called Zennials). They're not quite Millennials but not quite Gen Z either. Zillennials are identified as a micro-generation that is between Millennials and Gen Z. Zillennials were born between 1993-1998 which overlaps the end of the millennial generation and the beginning of the Gen Z generation. 

Like Gen Z and Millennials, Zillennials have shifted the narrative and normalized their mental health issues. With the help of social media, the conversation has been more digestible and has allowed the opportunity for many people to learn more about various mental illnesses. 

Zillennial Pop Star, Chlöe Bailey is one of many, who recently opened up about the mental health issues that she has been battling. Although she is successful, she wants people to know that mental health can impact anyone. 

The Grammy-nominated singer, producer/songwriter and actress shared on “The Breakfast Club” radio show that she has been battling depression and crafted her thoughts into new music while creating her new debut album, “In Pieces”.  She described her album as a story that tells a journey of recent life events and an opportunity to express who she is. 

This is why she named her album in pieces because she shared she was literally in pieces while creating it. 

In the interview, she stated "We're all human, so of course some things are going to bother you." after addressing why she takes consistent social media breaks due to constantly seeing negative social media comments about her personality and recent record sales. Bailey also shared that she had separation anxiety after being separated from her sister, Halle, for eight months during the pandemic in 2020, which forced her to find out who she truly is as an individual.

"It's really important … we go to the gym to exercise, we brush up on our lash extensions and our hair, we go to the barber, we should do that internally as well," Bailey stressed about the importance of also attending therapy. 

She is committed to leaving her mark on this world and feels thankful to have the opportunity to share her mental health journey through her music. 

Despite the nay-sayers, The 24-year-old said, "I am doing what I prayed for because it's bigger than me. When I leave this world I want my music to make a difference. When people come to me and tell me because I am open about my mental health journey and how I was struggling with even staying here, they felt less alone." 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 adults live with a mental illness. There are many contributing factors such as life events, trauma, family history of mental issues, and more. A few early warning signs and symptoms are having low or no energy, feeling helpless or hopeless, and consuming more alcohol or illicit drugs than usual. 

As a society, we must continue to raise awareness of mental health. Having a mental health issue could impact your daily living. However, with treatment, it’s possible to manage these conditions and live a productive and meaningful life. 

While older generations may have thought the discussion was “taboo” and strayed away from tapping into their emotions, it’s safe to say that Millennials, Zillennials and Gen Z are fine with normalizing the discussion surrounding mental health. 

If you or anyone you know has been struggling with mental health issues, you can receive assistance. Below are a few resources you can utilize if you need support or are interested in seeking a professional therapist.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Available 24 hours. 

Crisis Text Line is a nonprofit organization that provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention in English and Spanish. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services

Therapy For Black Girls: An organization that is committed to the mental wellness of Black women and girls. Their goal is to make mental health more accessible and relevant. They specialize in providing resources to decrease the barriers that make it difficult for Black women and girls to get quality mental health services.

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