We are told New Zealand's first online generation is struggling to cope in a world of insecure work prospects and unattainable housing.

One young adult in every five, according to a recent report, has sought mental health treatment in the past year. The Competent Learner study followed a group of young people born in Wellington in 1988-89 and found 19 per cent "thought about or attempted suicide" in the year before they were last interviewed in 2014-15, aged 26.

Twenty-two per cent, or one in five, sought help for a mental health problem in the past year.

It is tempting, especially for those who have endured the rise of terrorism or having their jobs taken by recessions, to answer such pleas for help with a proffered can of 'harden-up'.

It wasn't