The mental health of teens and young adults is in the toilet.
A viral article in this week’s New York Times reported massive increases in teens having a major depressive episode in the past ten years. Young people are being rushed to the emergency room in record numbers, for anxiety, mood disorders, and self-harm. The suicide rates have leaped by 60 percent.
While the pandemic certainly made the situation worse, these problems had pre-pandemic origins. Stress and depression are equal opportunity evils, striking down kids across the country regardless of income, race, or location.
The toxic teenage environment has been on my radar, since my oldest son and his cohort became teens. On my personal blog, I dashed out dozens of posts on the topic. In the course of writing articles about schools, like one on online grade books for The Atlantic and one about the particular struggles of boys for Edutopia, experts told me horror stories.