The first bombing happened when I was one and a half years old. I was in a car with my Mom taking my older brother to kindergarten and we stopped to pick up my brother’s friend. He was walking towards the car and paused to tie his shoelace. While he was crouched down a few feet away from us, dynamite under the car exploded and the front passenger seat that he was about to sit on was torn to shreds. Miraculously no one was injured.
There were 4 more bombings over the next year and a half.
Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2014, are coming of age in a vastly different time than the generations before them. Between a huge amount of screen time spent on social media, mass shootings occurring on an unprecedented scale, body image issues and homelessness, there are intense stressors that are contributing to our youth emotional and mental health crisis…
When we think of addiction, many of us immediately imagine the scariest end of the spectrum: Drugs. But the reality is that many youth experience addictive patterns in much more subtle ways. It’s difficult as a parent to navigate this issue, because there are so many things that teens these days develop unhealthy relationships to. Things like social media, technology, food, alcohol, sex, porn – things that are inherently a part of the world we live in, and therefore impossible to enforce teens to “stay away” from if we feel they are having a negative impact.
Check out the Family Brain Podcast Episode where Open Parachute founder Dr Hayley Watson explores youth mental health and gives accessible tips for parents, teachers and schools!
We would like to think that it’s rare for youth to harm themselves, but unfortunately it is a very common behaviour pattern in teens, and one that we don’t always know is happening. It can take many forms, from typical “self-harm,” to risky drinking, drugs, and sexual behaviour, to holding themselves back from reaching their potential in academics, sports or creative pursuits. All of these are forms of self-destructive cycles, and many teens will go through a version of this at some point in their growth.
It can be a huge challenge for parents and teachers when there are things we want and need teenagers to do, and they simply will not do them. It is very common for teenagers to resist completing homework or cleaning up after themselves, to engage in risky or reckless behaviour, and to be rude to their family and classmates.
It’s easy to feel completely helpless (and even enraged) by the behaviour of teenagers. If this sounds like you sometimes (or even all the time!) don’t worry, you’re not alone!!
How Parents can Address Youth Mental Health and Suicide: What to Focus on in Childhood and Adolescence
I think we can safely say that child mental health struggle and suicide are high up on the list of every parent’s worst nightmare. And in today’s world, this particular form of tragedy seems to loom scarily on the horizon with more and more urgency.
Luckily there are an increasing number of resources available – but how are parents to know which ones to choose? How can they be sure they are covering all the bases?
The best way to answer this question is by developing a clear and deep understanding of where youth mental health issues originate from, and what REALLY causes youth suicide.
Teachers have the tools to drastically change student mental health! (<em>Published in Education HQ</em>)
Many teachers don’t feel equipped to manage mental health in their classrooms – but they are the best possible resource for their students.
With the rising rates of youth suicide, self-harm, and depression it can feel like a minefield that is best avoided at all costs.
Teachers often worry that they will say the wrong thing, or trigger students with a comment that makes them even more upset, and so they avoid bringing up the issue of mental health with their students altogether.
Teachers, stop killing yourselves trying: Expert tips for reversing burnout (<em>Published in EducationHQ</em>)
Educators are some of the most overworked individuals in the workforce today. A recent study shows that teachers work more overtime than any other profession, coming in at an average of 13 hours per day, which is 10 times more than legal professionals.
Teachers also report that many of the hours of overtime they work are not directly related to helping their students, which provides even more of a drain on morale.
Educators also experience inherent burdens in their role even within their regular hours. Research shows that teachers make an average of 1,500 decisions per day, through constant questions from students as well as regular requests from school administration and parents.
As a teacher it’s incredibly difficult to address bullying in the classroom – especially in it’s more subtle forms. You can’t be there every time a mean comment is made, and you can’t force students to include each other at lunchtime or on social media. But there are some simple things you CAN do that make a huge difference for your students.
ONE OF THE BIG MYTHS ABOUT BULLYING IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE BULLY IS THE ONE WITH ALL THE POWER.
Because of this myth, kids and teens who are victimised usually think there is nothing they can do until the bullying stops. But they couldn’t be more wrong. And as a teacher, you can help your students figure this out faster than they ever could on their own.