This is a very dangerous time for young people. The pressure to be “hot,” social media relevant, get good grades, be in advanced college prep courses and juggle relationships in school is what we think of when we think about what pressures lead to anxiety and depression. However, this generation has the added weight of dealing with peer pressure and bullying 24/7. Gone are the days when you could get on a bus and escape your bully. Now, (thanks to the internet) bullying goes on 24/7 and with smartphones, it follows them no matter where they go.
We can see the real, tangible and undeniable effects of bullying in this video that IKEA put out showing a school that set up two identical plants. Both were given sunlight and water. The difference was one was set up on top of a speaker speaking bulling messages the other received affirming and complimenting messages over a 30 day period. The results were undeniable. One was wilting and dying and the other was flourishing. If we can see the effect of bullying and the power of negative words on a plant image how they effect people much less young people. With depression, many of us take those words and bully ourselves by allowing the words to play over and over in our minds.
While mental illness is far less stigmatized than it used to be, there still seems to be a lack of awareness or support systems in the schools to be proactive in addressing and caring for mental health. In fact, it seems to takes a back seat to grade point average, personal achievement and athletic performance.
The question we need to ask ourselves is does it matter how fit or attractive you are, how academically successful you become or what spiritual practices you do if at the end of the day you decide to end your life because the worst thing you can imagine doing is living another day? This is a the reality for many of our youth and Dignity Revolution provides schools and educators all of the tools they need to turn this all around. Join with us as we stand up for the value of every person!