“Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade. The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating. The future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.”
-Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, in a press release by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dec. 7, 2021
About this project...
Kids and young adults are suffering.
They’re plagued by depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. They feel bullied, isolated, or simply overwhelmed by everyday issues. They’re sad, some are self-harming, and many just want relief. But finding help is hard and often, astronomically expensive. Admitting you need help can feel humiliating, especially for parents. It’s a sad cycle of what’s quickly grown into an adolescent mental health crisis in our country.
My family faced this issue two years ago. We were quickly introduced to wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools, specialized testing, and educational consultants, all of which saved our child’s life. Prior to that, our only introduction to mental health programs was through the occasional bad press story from a celebrity’s childhood experience.
The purpose of this project is to educate and help de-stigmatize the mental health issue using my background in photojournalism and my experience writing and reporting for publications. I’ll be posting stories from families currently going through the mental health therapy process, programs helping our kids, efforts in schools, and highlighting what’s lacking. Please follow along and check back for new posts. Hopefully this small endeavor can make a difference.