I’m sad to report that the Acalanes School System in Lafayette experienced another teen student suicide just a few weeks ago. We are leaving their name out of the article for privacy reasons, but we are all saddened by their death and send our condolences to their family and friends.
As a parent, I am urging all parents of teens to have the “depression talk” with their children. You may be surprised at your child’s answers.
The 2020 school year has been one of the most difficult for teens across the country. A decade ago, we replaced after-school ad-hoc fun activities with competitive organized sports and after-school programs. Today, virtually every outdoor school basketball court sits empty most of the time.
This began the ushering in of teen boredom after school for those not in sports. And to complicate the situation, we gave our teens cell phones, which increased their isolation. Compound all of this with the negativity and social pressure of social media.
And finally, we layered this year with mandatory at-home schooling, furthering teens inability to properly socialize with other teens.
Teen depression is escalating at alarming rates. As a parent, you need to know if your teen is depressed and has or considering hurting themselves. Here are a few signs of teen depression:
- Feelings of sadness
- Short temper
- Quick irritation
- Loss of interest
- Loss of pleasure
- Sleep disorders
- Constant tiredness
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Feelings of worthlessness
If you feel your teen may be depressed or worse, reach out today. Act Now! Ask your Pediatrician for an immediate referral. Call 211 if you do not know which way to turn. Or go to our website www.abrighterday.org and go to the “Get Help” tab.
As a parent who lost his teen to suicide, I second-guess myself everyday and wish I had asked those important questions to my teen. Please be proactive.
All my best,