The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

In December 2021, the United States surgeon general issued an advisory regarding mental health issues in today’s youth. Since the year 2000, eighteen such reports, fourteen of them in regards to physical health issues, have been issued. But only the December 2021 report is titled an “advisory.”

Why is this significant? The office of the surgeon general explains: “Surgeon General Advisories are public statements that call the American people’s attention to a public health issue and provide recommendations for how that issue should be addressed. Advisories are typically shorter than Reports or Calls to Action, and they are reserved for significant public health challenges that demand the American people’s immediate attention” (emphasis added).

Significant issues that demand immediate attention. This is not a “let’s wait and see what happens” scenario.

It seems this situation has been brewing for quite some time and COVID-19 has been an accelerant that nobody anticipated or wanted. The advisory references global research that shows mental health issues in youth have doubled since the pandemic. There are many contributing factors, the wide majority of which are environmental in nature. A two-fold increase in such issues in such a relatively short period of time is startling. I’ve been a licensed psychologist for more than twenty years and have had a front row seat to mental health problems in the more than 10,000 people I’ve treated or evaluated during that time. I know the power of mental health to propel forward and to hold back. I’ve seen how mental health issues have disproportionately affected the rising generation compared to their parents or grandparents. We can no longer afford to view such issues simply as “growing pains” or “lack of grit.” Here are some things I’ve observed.

Considering an Adjusted Perspective

I believe the older generation could benefit from a different perspective on today’s mental health issues. When I say, “the older generation,” I include myself. I’m talking about those who are empty nesters, those who have parents or grandparents who fought in world wars, and those who grew up in a time when mental health issues were either scarce or not discussed.

When I talk with many of my contemporaries about rising mental health issues in today’s youth, I often hear a recurring sentiment: “They need to toughen up. We went through things way more challenging and didn’t complain.” I’m not here to argue whether world wars are more personally difficult than Major Depressive Disorder or Agoraphobia, but I’m suggesting that things have changed in general.

The rising generation is different, faces unique challenges, and needs new tools to prevail.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.