Oct 9, 2018, Johannesburg Citizen: Twenty percent of high school pupils ‘have attempted suicide’ https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/2020558/twenty-percent-of-high-school-pupils-have-attempted-suicide/ A large proportion of our teenagers are suffering from mental and emotional health problems, according to the Psychiatry Management Group. Almost one in 10 teenage deaths in South Africa every year are the result of suicide, the Psychiatry Management Group (PsychMG) said today. According to PsychMG, about 20 percent of high school pupils have tried to take their own lives. With teenagers and young adults the focus of World Mental Health Day on October 10, PsychMG chairperson, Dr Sebolelo Seape, said the prevention of teen suicides starts with better understanding of the symptoms of depression. … PsychMG said many of these tragedies could be averted by paying attention to warning signals and risk factors, building emotional resilience, and taking suicide threats seriously. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression was globally the third-highest disease burden amongst adolescents, and suicide the second leading cause of death in 15- to 29-year-olds, while the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) states that nine percent of teenage deaths in the country were due to suicide. … “This suggests a large proportion of teenagers are suffering from mental and emotional health problems. The youth are the future of our country and we need to act to prevent the devastating consequences of them losing their hope for the future,” Seape said. … Seape said the causes of depression and related mental illnesses in teenagers and young adults were multi-faceted “There is the stressful nature of the teenage years – for some teenagers, the normal developmental changes of these years, such as bodily changes, new patterns of thoughts and feelings, can be unsettling and overwhelming. There are social changes too, like changing schools, the pressure of final exams, the prospect of leaving home to start tertiary studies or a job; as well as other stress factors such as family issues, changes in their friend networks, and the pressure to succeed,” she said. …
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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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