I would like to briefly touch on the topic of mental health and youth, specifically youth.
I feel we are facing a real mental health crisis when it comes to our youth. I read quite frequently in the police reports; juvenile attacked another student in the restrooms, juvenile exposed themselves to a teacher, brought a weapon to school, wrote profanities or threats on the walls, the list goes on.
When I was in school (way back in the 1900s according to my kids), these incidents were not as common. I don’t think my parents had to worry about their children the way my generation has had to worry about ours. School shootings and suicides were not a normal part of everyday life in my young world.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2018, suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24 and mental health related visits to the ER increased substantially in 2020.
The pandemic no doubt added to stressors for everyone, but the numbers for our youth were unacceptable long before the pandemic.
The poverty level in our area, as well as a lack of mental health resources, likely contribute to the issue at hand, (I tried to set up a counseling appointment for one of my own children at the end of February and was told the soonest they could be seen was May) but I feel it is more than that.
The world has changed so drastically. There are far more single parent homes, far more negativity in the news, people are overall more disgruntled and anxious, and everywhere I go, I see people on their phones. In restaurants, cars, no matter where they are, they are detached from the world around them (I am guilty of this too).
We are more disconnected than ever during a time when we are the most digitally connected we have ever been.
I recently saw someone putting social media to good use. She posted a grocery list for her “village” as she called them. She stated she was having surgery and many friends had offered to bring her kids food for the few days she would be down, so she posted a list of things they liked that were fairly easy to make or keep on hand.
The world needs more of that!
The majority of the work that needs to be done starts at home with family, love and discipline.
To address the mental health crisis it’s not just going to take individuals, it’s going to take a village.
We are the village!
Misty DeJournett is a staff writer at the Daily American Republic. She can be reached at email@example.com.