THE EXISTENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS IN K-12 AND THE NEED FOR PLAY, RECESS

By Michael Hynes for patchogue.greaterlongisland.com

As superintendents, principals and teachers plan for the upcoming school year, one thing is certain: We are serving a generation of children who are more anxious, depressed and suicidal than any generation before.

A recent NPR Education Series broadcast states, “Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.”

In fact, Dr. Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College found that, “Rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America have been increasing steadily for the past 50 to 70 years. 

Today, by at least some estimates, five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago.”

More from Dr. Hynes: It’s time to talk about the ‘homework myth’ within our schools

If that doesn’t alarm you as a parent, educator or concerned citizen, check your pulse. The fact is, we have an existential mental health crisis in K-12 education and beyond.

The big question is, what can schools do about it?

It would be very easy to cite the multitude of reasons why our schools are so incredibly susceptible to the rise of psychopathology in children and adolescents.

Read more here.

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Melissa Bernard

Melissa is Reading Kingdom’s community manager and mom to two daughters, 4 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 tortoises.She is also an advocate for children with special needs as her youngest daughter suffers from Cerebral Palsy.Another major passion for Melissa is animal welfare and she volunteers as a foster parent for stray and abandoned animals.