Sightseeing, baseball games, Space Needle, Starbucks, seafood and a Sunday marathon to give us an excuse to miss school and work for a trip to Seattle we’ve always wanted to make.
Unfortunately, these appear to be increasing just as we start a new school year. Understandably, there can be additional stress and anxiety your children and teens could be experiencing about mass shootings. The American Psychological Association released a statement for parents with guidelines. Listening to them more than talking at them, avoiding or minimizing news coverage and helping your child manage their “stinking thinking” (negative, irrational self-talk) are most important. Additionally, Today updated and republished an article from 2015 with guidelines based on your child’s age group.
This month marks the 70th year May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. One in five people will suffer from a clinical mental health disorder in their lifetime. The National Alliance on Mental Illness created a phenomenal campaign “Why Care?” where anyone can help spread the word, bring awareness, partner and participate. Please check out their campaign and share with family, friends and coworkers.
Depression rates among kids ages 14-17 increased by more than 60% between 2009 and 2017 and Suicidality doubled. The report is based on the annual U.S. Department of Health and Human survey of more than 600,000 people. Even to researchers and experts who closely monitor these numbers indicate it’s a major wake up call and suggest we are not supporting our adolescents in developmentally appropriate ways. Most signs point to digital media and smartphones. A substantial amount of research has found associations between heavy technology use and poor mental health.
New studies are showing the long-lasting and far-reaching effects of domestic violence on children. Researchers discovered children who simply witness abuse suffer the same effects as those who are actually abused. Observing violence carries the same risk of harm to a child’s mental health and learning as a child who is abused directly. Ronald Kessler, the lead researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School says these effects last well into adulthood. Among childhood adversities those involving family violence inflict the worst long-term effects.
New year, new you? Susan Shain in the New York Times writes about what science tells us about legitimately making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Most importantly, think about December 31, 2019 and what change would you have made that would make you the happiest; the change you’d be most grateful to have achieved. She shares seven science-based strategies to make that resolution stick.
Happy New Year! I pray 2019 is the year you’ve dreamed about for you and your family.