Many years ago, when I was a teacher, our staff seldom worried about students with mental health issues. They existed, but it was in small numbers. Today, concerns regarding student mental health are top of mind in every school district.
There is no one reason kids become riddled with depression or anxiety — but we must ask ourselves, what is different today than past generations.
There has always been war, poverty, drug and sexual abuse and death in families. However, one thing separates this generation from those in the past: social media.
Little girls constantly compare their bodies, hair, complexion, parent’s financial status and popularity on Instagram. Yet, parents provide the very tools for such comparison.
I love technology and media. I’ve had the benefit of a great career due to both. But this unfettered access to technology and media is not in a child’s best interest. Steve Jobs wouldn’t let his daughter have an iPhone. What did he know that we don’t?
Each child that becomes a victim of suicide breaks my heart. I can’t imagine the suffering they endured to make such a decision. I can’t imagine the heart-break suffered by their families.
Again, there is no one reason why kids suffer from depression and anxiety and suicide ideation. But there is one commonality when compared to past generations…