Stop Telling Students They’re Messed Up and Start Doing Something About It

Every week I read new studies, reports or articles letting us know what’s wrong with young people today. They’re stressed out more than ever. They’re being bullied. They’re killing themselves. They’re not sleeping. They’re abusing prescription medications. They’re overweight. They’re depressed. The list goes on and on. In some ways it’s like society is normalizing these problems for young people instead of giving them skills to deal with what’s happening. They hear that there are problems, but where are the solutions?

In response to these studies, an endless amount of mental health, mental illness and suicide awareness campaigns address these problems. Grassroots organizations usePSAs, websites, and marketing materials to highlight helpful information to reach affected populations with messaging that students should seek help and end stigma. There are more young mental health advocates today than ever before. Students are standing up and giving a voice to these issues to empower others to come forward.

Moving Beyond Mental Health Awareness

We definitely need to continue the mental health awareness efforts that are being done by amazing organizations. We also need to go further. Most organizations and campuses have been focused on training faculty, parents and students on what to do when someone has a mental health challenge, but typically the only thing we tell someone who is experiencing a problem is to seek help.

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