The Kids Are Definitely Not Alright
It's no surprise really to anyone in the U.S. that kids ages 2-18 are experiencing unprescedented mental health issues, ranging from ADHD to depression, to extreme anxiety, promiscuity, drug use, suicide, and violence. It's also no surprise that meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises have been proven to help manage negative decision-making. And it doesn't take a scientist to point out that the way things are right now really aren't making the significant change needed to turn around today's youth. There has to be a major shift in the way we deal with our emotions as a individuals, as an education system, and ultimately as a society.
Whether you are or aren't convinced that every kid needs the tools we present in HMHB, here is some research that provides an even more sobering look at the state of internal affairs in today's youth. After you read these 10 statistics, answer this question: If you, or your child's school, could give your child the independent tools to truly start erasing the negative emotions behind theses behaviors, would you?
- In an American Psychological Association survey, nearly one third of kids ages 8 to 17 said that they'd recently had health symptoms often associated with stress, such as headaches and stomachaches.
- Early life stress (ages 2, 3, 4) have been tied in various studies to later in life depression, anxiety, heart disease, cancer, and a lack of educational and employment success. A particular study published in the journal Biological Psychology in 2014 found children who had experienced neglect, abuse, or life in a low socioeconomic status household at an early age had developed physically smaller amygdale and hippocampal volumes.
- In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12-17 had had at least on major depressive episode in the past year according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% girls and 20% boys- totaling 6.3 million teens- have had an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Experts suspect these statistics are on the low end of what's really happening, since many people do not seek medical help for anxiety and depression.
- In children, stress, anxiety, and ADHA can present behavioral issues ranging from anger, defiance, lethargy, and acting out. In a recent report released by the Center for Disease Control, more than 13% of American boys and than 5 % of American girls between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. A staggering 69% of these children are taking medication for ADHD.
- According to the Center for Disease Control, U.S. high school students surveyed in 2015 about sex and sexually transmitted diseases found this: 30% had had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months, and, of these: 43% did not use a condom the last time they had sex. 14% did not use any method to prevent pregnancy 21% had drunk alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse.
- Nearly 230,000 babies were born to teen girls aged 15–19 years in 2015. Reports indicate that there are approximately 1 million teenagers in America become pregnant each year. Of those, 78% are unintended. Of all the teenage women that become pregnant, 35% choose to have an abortion rather than bear a child.
- Young people (aged 13-24) accounted for an estimated 22% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2015.Among young people (aged 13-24) diagnosed with HIV in 2015, 81% were gay or bisexual males.Half of the nearly 20 million new STDs reported each year were among young people, between the ages of 15 and 24.