Your kids are not okay

Parents should take better initiative with their kid’s mental health 

Society may be returning to how it once was, but that does not mean this generation of kids is. Before the global pandemic that swept the world, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions existed, but it feels as if only recently that attention is being drawn to them. More people than before can now further relate to the feeling of isolation and being alone in the world. 

These emotions for many teens were tried and true long before COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, suicide rates were rising amongst teens and since then rates have only risen. According to UC Davis, mental health disorders have risen 25% in the first year of COVID-19. Since 2007, suicide rates amongst teens have risen by 60%. It’s clear that teen mental health is not getting any better, then why do adults pretend like it is? 

Mental illness is not something that can be “cured” with a few sessions of therapy or from an email by the school’s counselor. For millions, it will never fully go away or can reappear in the future. Each day teens are struggling alone and with everyone now “understanding” what it’s like to be isolated it doesn’t fix a chronic illness.  

This generation of teenagers has been separated from friends and family and lived in isolation for months. We have grown up in a world allowing us to compare ourselves to others using our fingers and Wi-Fi. Even if past generations “toughed it out” or “was a man” when they were kids, doesn’t mean that this generation should be left in the dark. Turning a blind to clear signs of struggles, helps only your fantasy that we are fine. 

There are ways for parents to help besides taking away our phones and blaming depression on social media. Yes, social media can lead to cyberbullying and exclusion, however, it is not the sole source for every issue or person. For some teens, their phones are their best way to be in contact and feel safe with friends and family, and taking them away is not a cure-all for mental illness.

So what can parents do to help us? Start with understanding that mental health is a serious topic and isn’t something that can be brushed over. Do the research, look into therapy, and see if the local school has services to offer. Create that space to have a conversation and get to know who they really are. In a time when there is a lack of psychiatrists and therapists, because of COVID-19, parents must support their children no matter what. Only then, can this old, but ever-growing, pandemic really be over.

So what can parents do to help us? For starters, parents have to understand that mental health is a serious topic and isn’t something that can be brushed over. Ensuring that their kid knows that they will always be there for them and not blame this on them. Even if nothing is “wrong” at the moment, in a few years, months, or days it could be; the pandemic is just proof of how quickly anyone’s mental health can turn for the worse.

 

 

 

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