Even the 4- and 5-year-olds in Marty Davis’ Utah kindergarten classroom get anxious. “We expect so much from them, and they feel the pressure,” she said. “They’re like ‘I can’t!’ And I’m like [the Little Engine That Could, who says], ‘I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!’”
By high school and college, many students have run out of steam. Anxiety—the mental-health tsunami of their generation—has caught up with them. Today’s teens and young adults are the most anxious ever, according to mental-health surveys. They admit it themselves: In February, a Pew survey found that 70 percent of teens say anxiety and depression is a “major problem” among their peers, and an additional 26 percent say it’s a minor problem.
“Honestly, I’ve had more students this year hospitalized for anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues than ever,” said Kathy Reamy, school counselor at La Plata High School in southern Maryland and chair of the NEA School Counselor Caucus. “There’s just so much going on in this day and age, the pressures to fit in, the pressure to achieve, the pressure of social media. And then you couple that with the fact that kids can’t even feel safe in their schools—they worry genuinely about getting shot—and it all makes it so much harder to be a teenager.”
MARCH 28, 2018 • 10:39AM . Read More