The Trauma-informed Workforce

BY KWABENA OSEI, University of Oxford History and Politics student

Trauma is like an elastic band – there’s only so far you can go until it starts to hold you back.

Nikki Adebiyi

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) play a large role in the high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress that Generation Z, or ‘Gen Z’, feels compared to previous generations. Despite being the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in human history, as well as the first to have lived in an age where internet access via smartphones and wireless connection has been widely available, 25% of Gen Z’ers report lower levels of emotional and mental wellbeing than other generations.

Having watched from the sidelines Millennials and Baby Boomers suffer from burnout, economic insecurity, and ‘time poverty’, Gen Z are demanding more from the workplaces they are entering. More time off, flexible working, a greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility, and most importantly, a real focus on mental health are becoming prerequisites, not nice-to-haves.

Research by McKinsey & Company revealed that Gen Z are more likely to report not seeking help for a mental health condition compared to other generations. There are several reasons for this, and this piece will explore the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the wellbeing of Gen Z in the workforce, as well as the action that large companies and governments need to take on it.

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