Mental health is an important issue for Americans – now more than ever. Our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now, offers insights that help explain how Americans are feeling about mental health and what brands can do to support them. Read on to learn more.
May 6, 2022 Sudipti Kumar – Associate Director
Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are at an all-time high in the United States. Increased political polarization, heightened racial tension, and the ongoing pandemic are just some of the reasons that contribute to a lower overall sense of well-being for Americans. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that Gen Z Americans are the least likely to be satisfied with their physical and non-physical well-being, including their mental and emotional health.
In addition to the factors affecting all Americans, social media likely has an outsized impact on Gen Z’s mental health. Our survey data reveals that Gen Z is the least likely to feel confident in themselves, while also being the most likely to compare themselves to others on social media. And then there’s recent research, including Instagram’s internal research, that highlights the potentially negative impact of social media on younger people(1).
Something else that likely adds to young Americans’ struggles with mental health is the belief that they can’t show their emotions. In fact, almost 50% of Gen Z Americans agreed with the statement: “I can’t show my emotions because society tells me I need to be strong”, compared to only 22% of Boomers.
But here’s the good news—despite their struggles, Gen Z’ers want to improve their mental health. When asked where they are most focused with respect to their health and wellness, over 40% of the segment chose improving their mood/mental health. This suggests improving mental health is a top priority for Gen Z, even higher than improving their diet and increasing physical activity.
Now you may be thinking, how can my brand help improve people’s mental health? It turns out there are several ways you can play a positive role and connect with consumers in the process.
Support and amplify influencers sharing openly about their mental health struggles Many young Americans (~80%, in fact!) think it’s admirable when a public figure shares about their mental health struggles. Brands that show support for these individuals and amplify their voices will likely capture consumer attention and create affinity. Consider Cartoon Network’s shout out to Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles, and ESPN highlighting the many athletes that have spoken up about their mental health struggles including Michael Phelps and Demar Derozan.
Provide supportive resources Many brands are creating resources that consumers can use to improve their mental health. For example: – Athleta, Simone Biles’ sponsor, launched a new platform dedicated to women’s wellness called AthletaWell just days after Biles withdrew from the 2021 Olympic team finals for mental health reasons. – Maybelline New York launched the “Brave Together” program, an online platform to open the conversation around anxiety and depression. – JanSport has developed a fully integrated brand effort called #Lightentheload to connect Generation Z with resources to tackle the mental health challenges they face.
Donate to causes There are important causes that aim to improve the mental health of young Americans. Stella and Bow donates proceeds of their Rainbow Connection necklace to a charity focused on helping people with depression and addiction. And Philosophy has donated over five million dollars to mental health initiatives via their hope & grace initiative. Consider donating to one or more mental health causes and then use social media and other marketing efforts to let your market know they too can have a positive impact by donating.
Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.
(1) NPR, “Instagram Worsens Body Image Issues And Erodes Mental Health”, https://www.npr.org/2021/09/26/1040756541/instagram-worsens-body-image-issues-and-erodes-mental-health
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Sudipti is an Associate Director on Collage Group’s Product and Content team. She is a graduate from NYU’s Stern School of Business where she studied finance and marketing, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she received her Masters in Public Administration. In her spare time, Sudipti enjoys reading, cooking, and learning to crochet.
Start 2022 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights
More than 200 of America’s top brands have access to the deep cultural insights needed to engage America’s diverse consumers. Do you? Here’s an overview of the new reports we’re releasing in Q1 2022 and beyond that you’re missing out on. Contact us today for access:
Health and Wellness
Explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors toward health and wellness are evolving across diverse segments, including barriers to access, provider preferences, and more.
Small Business Owners in America
Learn how to connect authentically with America’s small business owners. This research gives you a look into the attitudes and behaviors of culturally diverse owners and includes action items to integrate marketing best practices for effective engagement.
Engage the LGBTQ+ community with a deeper understanding of changing expectations and trends in self-identification. Understand the meaning and preferences for terms like non-binary and intersex, and the nuances of personal pronouns. Dig deeper into the labels and/or identifiers each segment prefers and double-click by age, race/ethnicity, and gender when relevant.
CultureRate:Brand & Ad
Assess the Cultural Fluency of your brand and ads and explore how you stack up vs. your competitors. Members of our consumer research platforms have access to a dedicated report on a brand and ad.
New Launches in 2022
Also rolling out in 2022 are the launch of a new program and add-on module. More details on timing and content of these releases are coming soon.
Parents & Kids
In 2022, Collage Group will continue to expand our research into new territories. This includes a new research program exploring cultural variations in the attitudes and behaviors of parents and kids.
This add-on module for members who have a current demographic subscription will cover health care-related attitudes and behaviors of consumers with various medical diagnoses. The conditions and intersections covered will be released in February, but will likely include conditions such as chronic pain, depression, diabetes and more across race and ethnicity.
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Close 2021 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights
More than 200 of America’s top brands have access to the deep cultural insights needed to engage America’s diverse consumers. Do you? Here’s a sampling of our latest reports that you’re missing out on. Contact us today for access:
Transform change into opportunity. This deep dive report explores changes to diverse consumer attitudes at a key transformational moment. Learn where there is no going back and build strategy for the future.
Health and Wellness
Explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors toward health and wellness are evolving across diverse segments, from conceptions and wellbeing, barriers to access, provider preferences, and more.
Digital Media Consumption
Discover how Americans are consuming media / social media content and the evolution across consumer segments. These reports explore use of streaming services, non-English languages, and much more. Learn more in samples of our Digital & Media reports on race/ethnicity, generation and sexuality.
CultureRate:Brand & Ad
Assess the Cultural Fluency of your brand and ads and explore how you stack up vs. your competitors. Members of our consumer research platforms have access to a dedicated report on a brand or ad, which includes recommendations for a path forward to improve the rankings.
Access semi-annual reports to keep up with America’s diverse consumers across race/ethnicity, age, sexuality and gender. These reports evaluate consumer attitudes and behaviors across 12 different consumer goods industries. New reports will be released that dig deeper into apparel and travel and hospitality.
Collage Group members have access to more than 10 years of consumer insights in over 300 studies with new data unveiled 3-to-4 times a month. As a member, you also get to the full reports recently released, including: Holidays & Occasions, Passion Points, and Cultural Traits. Contact us to learn more about membership.
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Multicultural Consumers are More Loyal
Hispanic and African-American consumers typically stick with their favorite brands when shopping for non-alcoholic beverages. They’re less likely to be swayed by a sale or coupon. On average, 27% of consumers say that they purchased a non-alcoholic beverage because of a sale.