Listening to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy address students from all across Yale University’s campus this past fall, I remember a string of four words repeating itself:
youth mental health crisis
. Months later, I still reflect on these words and their significance. How has this crisis come about? Why is it not talked about enough? And what does this mean for our youth and their future?
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, a shocking 49.5 percent of adolescents aged 13-18 have experienced a mental health disorder at some point in their life. A statistic this high cannot be ignored — a crisis is indeed occurring. To conceptualize this, my younger brother and his friends come to mind as they have just started their first year of high school last August. I start to grow uneasy thinking about their current vulnerability to mental health concerns.