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While it is an incredibly apparent epidemic to myself and those I am around, the youth’s mental health crisis might be foreign to some.

According to a study administered by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, depression and other mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent in the youth. With over 600,000 Americans surveyed between 2009 and 2017, there were several shocking conclusions. They found that major depression among 20-21 years olds has risen from 7 to 15 percent. Second, they found that depression rose an astonishing 69 percent among 16-17 year olds. They then discovered that severe psychological distress, which includes anxiety and hopelessness, has jumped 71 percent among people between 18-25.

Along with these statistics that look at specific mental health issues, they looked into the suicide rates. With 2017 being compared to 2008, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services found that twice as many 22-23 year olds attempted suicide, 55 percent more had suicidal thoughts, and suicide rates among 18-19 year olds grew 56 percent.

While this study has shown several alarming traits in the youth’s mental health, it is only progressively getting worse. Technology is becoming available to nearly everyone. This allows for social media to promote peer pressure and prevalent behaviors even while kids are at home. While the youth of the past could be sheltered at home, the youth of today is not. You can find nearly anything on the internet, and it opens up the possibility of seeing almost every disturbing act that they could imagine.

Along with this, the younger generation is spending less time with their friends and more time online. This is a problem because a majority of people rely on social interaction. For the most part, it promotes good mental health and keeps you out of trouble. Bad habits such as these are continually becoming socially acceptable, and this is the problem. You can find all of these crazy statistics in one simple search, but they are already known and ignored.

I found the information in this text on Theconversation.com.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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