Jan 7, 2018, (Canada) Calgary Herald: Public schools gather evidence on students growing mental health struggles http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/public-schools-gather-evidence-on-students-growing-mental-health-struggles Hoping to curb the rising tide of mental-health problems among youth, the Calgary Board of Education is gathering evidence on how large the challenge is, how learning is being affected and whether Alberta Health Services can help fund the growing need. As local hospitals face growing numbers of adolescent in-patients with mental-health issues, educators and trustees agree it’s time to support kids in schools — where they spend most of their time. “This is an enormous issue that is coming at us very fast,” said CBE trustee Julie Hrdlicka, who ran her re-election campaign last fall on creating “confident kids” through a new mental-health strategy. “There’s a lot of pressure on our kids these days. Technology is throwing a lot of information at them very fast. They’re dealing with social media, cyberbullying, stressors from parents, teachers — and they’re facing a lot of stress and anxiety.” Hrdlicka pointed to data from Alberta Health Services, which confirmed in-patient admissions for adolescents struggling with mental-health issues have increased 130 per cent over the past decade. Over the past year, the Alberta Children’s Hospital reported 395 mental-health admissions, while other Calgary hospitals combined admitted an additional 1,100 adolescents for the same reason.
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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