Hello, snowflake

Welcome to Snowflake Week on The Overtake

27th November 2017

This week, 27 November to 1 December, on The Overtake is Snowflake Week.

If you’re not familiar with it, “snowflake” is a term used to mock our generation for what essentially boils down to self-respect and respect for other people.

It’s publically levelled mostly at left-leaning socially aware individuals for their belief in “safe spaces” where people are free from “triggers”, but the truth is that anyone is only one mental health issue away from getting the label.

In fact, the subject of mental health is like a red rag to a bull for those who see snowflakes wherever they look. Snowflakes are people who are battling anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, people whose jobs have whittled away at their confidence and self-worth until there’s nothing left, people who are so deep in debt that sleepless nights have turned into thoughts that there’s no way out.


Considering a quarter of people in the UK suffer a mental health problem at some point every year, according to charity Mind, that probably makes us a nation of snowflakes.

If we seem “triggered” it’s because we’re so fucking tired of hearing about how “generation snowflake can’t handle the responsibilities of the real world”, especially given that the “real world” for us usually involves being paid below the living wage in unreliable and unstable jobs, housing that we can’t afford and crippling debt levels – a perfect storm of economic despair that no other living generation has experienced.

We totally are thankful that most of us no longer need to risk getting our fingers ripped off by milling machinery at work, like our great-grandparents did. Our great-grandparents probably felt like shit doing those kinds of jobs. But working in an office, bar, warehouse or chain store can feel like shit too – something our reporter Jasmine Andersson addressed in her piece about how the gig economy can wreck your mental health.


In the UK, about 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their job each year, deaths from suicide are rising and more young people than ever before are being admitted to hospital due to self-harm.

Virtually every organisation involved with mental health agrees that stigma hugely exacerbates the problem, making it harder for sufferers to talk about problems like depression.

It’s no wonder that our mental health as a nation is getting worse when people feel like they can’t open their mouths about it without being dismissed as a snowflake.

This week on The Overtake, we’re fighting that stigma with a series of articles about mental health. We’re looking at things like how to talk to your family about mental health problems, investigating the genetic links to suicide and hearing what it’s like to experience a psychotic break.

So if talking about mental health makes you a snowflake, then we’re proud to be snowflakes.

27th November 2017