Engaged adults can help our youth battle depression

I’ve been asked by readers to tackle subjects related to our youth. Subjects that might be hard to understand, or which we might not necessarily know how to address. This is an opportunity for me to take a deeper look into an important matter of growing concern: youth depression.

There’s an epidemic of youth depression at the moment. We are not paying the proper mind to the difficulties our youth face trying to navigate modern society.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case. We can and should do our part to assist in the cure.

We are seeing children who are perfectly capable of excelling failing out of school/programs, just to gain attention. We’re even seeing kids willingly hurt themselves or putting themselves in danger because they’re being paid no mind. Their voice isn’t being heard.

When we begin to see these outcries for help -- erratic behavior, unlikely personality shifts and, unfortunately, suicide -- we need to wake up.

There is an area of our modern world that, if not used responsibly, is a giant culprit in the youth depression epidemic, and that’s social media. Their online access and use of social media could be having maximum impact on their life without us even knowing.

Our children are literally hanging by a thread waiting for the next “like” or “comment” to their social media content. Is it healthy? Is it safe? Is it causing them to have communication and trust issues? There are a slew of questions that need to be asked and addressed in every home for the safety and wellbeing of our children. Are we as aware of their online surroundings as we are of their physical ones?

With most of their online interactions including judgement, criticism, or even overexposure and false praise, this could leave our youth with unrealistic standards to life -- making social interactions, romantic relationships, family affairs, and so on, more difficult.

We assume that providing parameters is useful, but sometimes that’s not enough. Parents need to make sure that children engaging in an online experience understand the pros and cons, the responsibility and accountability of their words, and the importance of their reputation. Let’s make sure their self-esteem isn’t reliant on their social media experiences, but rather who they are as a person.

We all know that every human being should balance of body, mind and spirit. Why are we forgetting to relay this message to our youth? Instead, we usually let them fend for themselves with addictive vices such as video games, social media and phone apps.

Why not check in with them and ask how they’re feeling or what their thoughts are? Our busy lives can change in an instant when our loved ones are struggling, in trouble, or God forbid, gone. There’s no time like now to focus on communicating with our children in order to keep a healthy mental and emotional environment in the home.

Keep a keen eye and let’s all do our best to pay more attention and educate our youth. You never know. Lending your ear may change a life today, and your words may even save one.

About Morgan Duzoglou-Mariotti, CPC

Morgan Duzoglou-Mariotti, CPC

Morgan is a published author and certified professional life coach, giving courses and seminars in schools and universities, as well as character development program in martial arts schools. Her experience as a nationally ranked athlete, as well as a recording artist, brings a fresh perspective to the process of self-realization. For more information, visit Morgan online here.  @MDVcoaching