Our teens are struggling, especially our teenage girls. Three in five teen girls (57%) said they felt persistently sad or hopeless as part of a Center for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 2021. …
Teens and Trauma
Our teens are struggling, especially our teenage girls.
Three in five teen girls (57%) said they felt persistently sad or hopeless as part of a Center for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 2021. That is up from 36 percent in 2011. And 30% said they have seriously considered dying by suicide – a percentage that has risen nearly 60 percent over the past 10 years.
“Our teenage girls are suffering through an overwhelming wave of violence and trauma, and it’s affecting their mental health,” said Kathleen Ethier, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.
In addition, the CDC report noted a dramatic rise in violent behavior, particularly targeting girls.
The survey which has been conducted every other year for three decades, includes responses from 17,232 U.S. high school students.
Overall, more than 40% of boys and girls said that they had felt so sad or hopeless within the past year that they were unable to do their regular activities, such as schoolwork or sports, for at least two weeks. When researchers looked at gender differences, girls were far more likely to report such feelings than boys.
These startling statistics renew a passion in me about the importance of educating all adults on the critical role we each play in children and teens lives.
It can be difficult at times to connect with a teen as a parent, when often teens are wanting to pull away from family, which is why having other support people in a teen’s life and looking for signs that a teen might be struggling is so important.
We must also work to reduce trauma that teens and frankly each of us witness and experience. It is critical that we take time to talk to one another, build those relationships which will then lead to trust and a more likely opportunity for a teen to disclose if they are struggling.
Because in the end, violence and trauma affect each one of us and if we want to live in a society free from sadness and hopelessness it starts with each of us.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts call, text, or chat: 988 National Suicide Prevention Line 24 hours a day.