Gen Zs Are Struggling With Mental Health Right Now – Here’s How Your Brand Can Help

Gordon D'Mello

In Audience, Behaviour, Marketing Posted

With Melbourne back in lockdown, and Sydney not far away – it seems as though COVID-19 is well and truly here to stay, in some capacity. And while things may never go back to ‘normal’ again, for Gen Zs and students around Australia – the toll has been significant.

With countless students facing the prospect of a saturated job market at the end of their studies, and current students struggling to hold onto hospitality and retail jobs – 2020 has been tough. So much in fact, that in a recent Swinburne University study, Gen Z respondents reported a nearly four times increase in mental health conditions.

Normally rates for Depression, Anxiety and Stress sit around 4-5% for Gen Z Aussies. But in the latest June numbers from the survey, that percentage has increased to over 20% for Depression and Stress – and nearly 15% for Anxiety.

So given Gen Z are hurting a bit right now, here’s how your brand can support them – as after all, they’re going to be the custodians of the economy in a few years. Nurture now and reap the rewards later.

Be Empathetic


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Right now, many Australian girls and women need critical care and support. Thanks to you, our Supre community, the Supre Foundation is donating $45,000 across Vinnies, Beyond Blue and Foodbank to immediately assist those who need it most. In addition, from now until the end of August, 100% of proceeds from all Supre Foundation products will also be donated to these three charity partners, who are providing vital support to girls and women impacted by COVID-19 and beyond. It’s amazing to think: 1 Supre Foundation Bottle of Water = Supports those needing access to Vinnies Crisis Shelters 1 Supre Foundation Tote Bag = Assists the 24/7 Support Service for Beyond Blue 1 packet of Supre Foundation Tissues = Provides 2 meals for Foodbank So, stand beside us and really make a difference today. You can find out more and shop the entire range of Supre Foundation products via the link in our bio.

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Marketing just needs to be super smart right now. Being understanding and leading with empathy is a crucial factor right now for all businesses. Your tone should be relatable and put a hand over the shoulder of Gen Zs – rather than try and force a sale down their throats. We love what Supre have done with their Supre Foundation Always By Your Side campaign which aims to support Australian girls and women; naturally their main customer base.

Donating 100% of proceeds to Vinnies, Beyond Blue and FoodBank – not only are they touching on key areas their audience relate to, but they encourage a purchase too. What made this campaign iconic to us though, was that all Supre Foundation products were $5 or under – tote bags, mints, foundation, face masks. All affordable and accessible from a price point of view.

High Value Leads

In Queensland, we’ve seen how reduced restrictions have a positive impact on mental health. As the state has opened up in the past month or so, mental health concerns have dwindled as the public revelled in just being outside again. People are hungry for positivity and flexibility now, especially Gen Zs. So how can you and your brand apply that thinking on a greater level? What value can you drive right now? Think about information you can grab, in exchange for offers, virtual events, or lead magnets.

Kmart (the unofficial guide to Gen Z home living) have started a really smart series of Masterclass virtual events, largely to do with home-related activities. From styling, to cooking, dining to storage – they are simple yet effective ways the brand is offering value in exchange for some contact details. People who are interested in the masterclasses just need to throw in their name and email in a pretty standard lead gen process. Smart, effective and high in value – while also extracting some details from consumers, meaning it fits into the marketing funnel.

Play By The Rules

The pandemic is bloody scary, so don’t make it worse. Hygiene rules and gathering restrictions are important, so don’t try and flout with them – particularly from a commercial brand point of view. The above campaign from Jameson was a smart concept to slowly, and safely, re-engage the public with their product – as restrictions started to ease at the end of June.

It put their staple product into the hands of potential and current customers, for free, and while adhering to all the relevant rules. We love their messaging of helping to reconnect you and your mates, over a Jameson, at a pub/bar.

Don’t Always Aim To Convert


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If I flip you the bird, consider yourself special #WarriorNun

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It won’t come as a surprise to learn that Netflix is a brand that owns this style of marketing. The focus for them is more about interaction, engagement, and community building. Are their followers going to sign up for their service, or engage with their service if they see a meme-styled post focused on Stranger Things? Maybe, but likely not.

Especially in this climate, think about stripping away the commercial focus of some marketing. You don’t always need a direct call to action or conversion. Think about it as top-of-the-funnel marketing that aims to develop and nurture your community. If every single piece of marketing aims to convert, how much will you really convert? Especially right now?

Ultimately marketing just needs a caring touch – that’s the focus in our opinion. Gen Zs are still purchasing and buying, and as they recover – they’ll be the ones your brand will want to have nurtured a good relationship with during peak COVID-19 times.

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