Somber opening that won’t surprise anyone working closely with adolescents.
“The United States is experiencing an extreme teenage mental-health crisis. From 2009 to 2021, the share of American high-school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent, according to a new CDC study. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded.”
The rest is required reading for anyone seeking to understand teen mental health.
“The drop in noise could be helpful for endangered killer whales that live in the area, known as Southern Resident killer whales, which rose to national attention two years ago when a mother orca carried her dead calf for days.
The whales use sound to hunt Chinook salmon through echolocation, much like a bat does. They also make a wide array of social sounds. Each pod actually has its own distinct dialect of calls. But ships make noise at some of the same sound frequencies as the whales.”
“It might be tempting to think that FaceTime and Zoom provide substitutes for in-person social outlets, especially for a generation of digital natives who grew up with smartphones. But, therapists say, talking by small screen offers no replacement for a calming hug and can miss the subtleties of a compassionate expression.”
All is not well. Eight percent of American teens attempt suicide each year. Is there a more telling, damning statistic?
“Surveys from rich countries do not suggest there has been an increase in loneliness over time. Today’s adolescents in the US do not seem to be more likely to report feeling lonely than adolescents from a couple of decades ago; and similarly, today’s older adults in the US do not report higher loneliness than did adults of their age in the past.
That’s of course not to say we should not pay attention to these topics.
It’s important to provide support to people who suffer from loneliness, just as it is important to pay attention to the policy challenges that come from large societal changes such as the rise of living alone. However, inaccurate, over-simplified narratives are unhelpful to really understand these complex challenges.”
Unless we improve math education, we’ll continue to be susceptible to “inaccurate, over-simplified narratives” of this nature.