At first glance, the significance of Veterans Day and the everyday lives of our teenagers may seem worlds apart, but there’s a poignant connection that might surprise you.
A Shared Battle: Hopelessness and Mental Health
Statistics reveal a sobering reality: the only demographic experiencing a higher rate of suicide than our nation’s adolescents and young adults is our veteran community. Tragically, the underlying thread that links these two groups is a profound sense of hopelessness. Through interviews, veterans have expressed feelings of extreme loneliness and a sense of isolation from their community. They can also have to deal with challenges related to sleep and eating disorders.
If these issues strike a familiar chord, it’s because they mirror the same distress signals we often see in teenagers suffering from depression.
Connecting Generations: Dialogue and Understanding
Veterans Day provides a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with your teenager. It’s a chance to draw parallels between their experiences and the emotional battles faced by our veterans. Opening up a conversation with your teen can be challenging. What’s most important is making the effort to genuinely inquire about their feelings to lead to a deeper understanding and connection. Sharing stories of veterans and exploring the history of our nation aren’t just educational. They can offer your teen a new perspective on life’s broader canvas.
24/7 Support: Text BRIGHTER to 741741
We recognize the importance of supporting our youth in every way we can, which is why our charity, A Brighter Day, offers an array of resources at www.abrighterday.info. One of our most immediate tools available for teens—and parents—is our 24/7 text hotline. Whether you’re a teen looking for a lifeline or a parent seeking guidance, simply reach out by texting BRIGHTER to 741741 and we’ll be there to offer support.
Are you a parent looking for more information?
On behalf of A Brighter Day Charity, I urge you to take this Veterans Day and enjoy the conversation with your teen. It’s a good day to hug them and thank a veteran for their service.
All my best,