Through Save Our YOUth, high schools around the state of Michigan, and eventually the nation, will fully understand the symptoms and risk factors of depression. Through extensive research, it is shown that 2.8 million youth age 12-17 suffer from at least one depression episode. Our YOUth is the future of this great nation. No matter what your political views are, there can be a universal understanding for the importance of mental health in our teens. Through critical thinking, solutions and observations are able to be created. Us millennials are focused on changing and inciting change in this nation. However, older generations view us as lazy, unmotivated, unskillful and at times, a disappointment. however, we are on the path to revolutionizing this nation. 1/3 of Millennials, ages 26-33, have at least a college degree. That is the highest of all previous generations. Furthermore, 35% of Millennials have started their own side business in order to generate a larger income. Statistics like these incite a powerful and hopeful outlook for this nation’s future. With innovative technology being created every time the wind changes directions, millennials like myself are living in a time where many things are provided for us. However, to much is given, much will be required. Meaning that, society continues to set high standards for my generation. Yet, we continuously show growth and progress as we meet these standards regularly and surpass them daily! In order to maintain this trend of standard surpassing and astounding statistics, this nation must take note of the wellbeing of millennials; including our mental health. Mental health struggles in teens are just as real as shell shock, now called PTSD, is in WW2 veterans. When connections like this are made, it is much easier to inform a broad age group of an audience.
I strongly believe that in order to incite change, conversation must occur. Subjects of conversation that make people uncomfortable tend to be the most prevalent and there tends to be a much larger group affected than subjects that are easy to talk about. When talking about mental health struggles, we must speak to the source. Not school administrators, not parents, but living breathing teenagers. Besides, we make up 13% of the US population! As a teen who struggled with mental health briefly, I believe that in order to address mental health in teens and young adults, we must go into our high schools. Why high schools? Because it is the easiest way to reach the largest group of people in the most efficient amount of time. A bold, courageous and REALISTIC way to address mental health would be for teens who have struggled with mental health to share their stories with teachers, counselors and administrators in hopes to inform them of their reality. In doing so, high schools would be properly equipped with the correct knowledge on what the symptoms, risk factors and solutions that could possibly work best for their students. No high schooler is exactly the same meaning that no case of mental health struggle is the exact same either. As adults begin to recognize how impactful mental health is in the classroom as it is teens day to day lives, that is when us millennials will truly become inferior.
When searching for an issue that I feel should be spoken about, mental health was not my first choice. However, I found myself acknowledging the fact that I myself had briefly gone through the twists and turns of battling mental health and knew that the only way to incite change for my friends who struggle with it on a daily basis was to join their cause and advocate for them, myself and the millions of teens and young adults who have experienced at least one episode depression. As a millennial, I am inspired by my peers’ fight and determination to be successful in America to the point where I have summed up the courage to converse with others around me about the issue of mental health and how it can be addressed/solved. Us millennials are on the path to accomplishing grand things in our futures. Once the struggle with mental health is properly addressed, teens and young adults of this society will succeed like never before.