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In a recent survey taken by 77,000 students from all walks of life, high school and college students in the United States are five times more likely to deal with anxiety and other mental health issues than youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era. A few individual categories increased at an even greater rate — with six times as many scoring high in two areas: 'hypomania,' a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism (from 5 per cent of students in 1938 to 31 per cent in 2007), and depression (from 1 per cent to 6 per cent).
One of the most worrisome trends is the alarming degree of sadness and despair among Hispanic youth. Nationally, an astonishing 42.3 percent of Hispanic girls reported feeling “sad or hopeless” as did 30.4 percent of Hispanic boys, exceeding figures for black and white teens.
Twenty-one percent of Hispanic girls said they had “seriously considered attempting suicide” and 14 percent actually attempted suicide – again, the highest of any ethnic group. By contrast, 10.7 percent of Hispanic boys said they’d thought seriously about killing themselves and 6.3 percent actually tried.
Did you know? Mental health services and counseling are available at the Elsie Allen Health Center. Call 707-583-8777 to schedule an appointment today. It's free. It's confidential. It's for you.
Many factors may be hitting Hispanic girls hard, including poverty, low self-esteem, pressure to join gangs, parents who work multiple jobs and are often absent from the home, and conflict between traditional Hispanic family values and the norms present in the broader American society, she suggested.
Being caught between two cultures can foster tremendous tension and be a tremendous burden for Hispanic youth.
Obviously at myelsie.org, we believe that in order to be a happier, healthier teen, you have to take care of both your physical as well as mental needs! Being healthy means dealing with the changes in your body - and your mind.
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