Youth Loneliness / Depression / Suicide
SUICIDE is the 2nd leading cause of death for our youth ages 10-24.
Epidemic of Loneliness:
Living with loneliness increases our odds of dying early by 45% - University of Chicago neuroscientist John Cacioppo defines the phenomenon as “perceived social isolation,” which basically means that we experience loneliness when we feel disconnected. Maybe we’ve been pushed to the outside of a group that we value, or we lack a sense of true belonging. At the heart of loneliness, Cacioppo believes, is an absence of meaningful social interaction–an intimate relationship, friendships, family gatherings, or even community or work group connections.
"We are hardwired for connection and that's why we are here!" - Brene Brown
When we give voice to difficult things, as Brené Brown mentions in her TED talk, and when we meet them with empathy, we take away the power of shame. But when shame festers without a voice, it can be isolating. And isolation, in turn, can lead to loneliness and feelings of worthlessness... which can continue to perpetuate shame. Loneliness and shame walk around, bullying our sense of human connection into hiding. In reading a recent New York Times article on the "epidemic of loneliness," we learn that loneliness is an underlying cause of many chronic conditions, both physical and mental. - Brene Brown
WHY ARE WE LONELY??
Fear. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of the pain of disconnection. Fear of criticism and failure. Fear of conflict. Fear of not measuring up.
So many people avoid being vulnerable - avoid being loved or giving love - avoid being there TRUE SELVES for fear of judgement - avoid trying due to fear of failure - refuse to have the difficult conversations to better understand one another and appreciate our differences - and we hold in our true feelings and it creates dis - ease in our bodies.
If we never try - we will never learn, grow, love, connect, get stronger, or FAIL!
FAILURE is a normal part of life.
Failure can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened to us! It could have protected us from what we "think we wanted" OR it can challenge and propel us to our highest level!
Youth Depression & Suicide in U.S. and Colorado
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, surveyed over 600,000 Americans and found recent trends startling.
From 2009 to 2017, major depression among 20- to 21-year-olds more than doubled, rising from 7 percent to 15 percent. Depression surged 69 percent among 16- to 17-year-olds. Serious psychological distress, which includes feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, jumped 71 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds from 2008 to 2017. Twice as many 22- to 23-year-olds attempted suicide in 2017 compared with 2008, and 55 percent more had suicidal thoughts. The increases were more pronounced among girls and young women. By 2017, one out of five 12- to 17-year-old girls had experienced major depression in the previous year.
*For middle and high school age youth (ages 12-18), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death.
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease,
*For college age youth (ages 18-22), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for YOUTH ages 10-24 in Colorado
Colorado is 6th in the nation for teenage suicide
Larimer County has one of the highest suicide rates in Colorado
Colorado ranks in the top 10 for highest
in the U.S.
What can we do about it?
"Our youth need a sense of belonging and connection to develop healthy lives."
- Gregory Bowers
We need to spread an
EPIDEMIC OF CONNECTION and ACCEPTANCE
As much as we need mental health counselors, crisis centers, inpatient treatment centers, medication, etc....we ALSO need to show the world the mental health is just as important as physical and spiritual health! Our mental health system is overloaded and overmedicated and it is simply not enough! Many are even mistreated. It's our job as a community to help our own and provide a place for:
It's time to challenge ourselves to BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION! The loneliness and suicide epidemic is real, but thankfully there IS so much within our control to help make our homes and communities stronger. We need each other to help bridge that gap and stop depending on our mental health and school systems to do it all. YES - they also need to do MUCH better, an let your voice be heard and be a part of making the system stronger.
"TOGETHER we can heal some of the divisions between people and within people that have allowed this epidemic of loneliness to grow. We need a safe space to share to allow the genuine connection it provides. We need each other, to normalize difficult conversations with respect. We need ourselves, to find our own voices and activate our own ears. We will find connection in our disagreements as well as our shared interests, and we may well help to spread an epidemic of connection." - By Johanna Bond, LMHC
Connection is a word used a lot these days because we are seeing the results of our disconnected society from authentic relationships with themselves and others. Our focus at CLH will be to teach each person how to:
connect to their own bodies through a variety of grounding techniques
body awareness / body scanning
building healthy relationships with themselves, their loved ones, and their peers
connecting to the earth
Love is something every human needs to survive and it is a powerful messenger of healing the body/mind/spirit. After experiencing trauma, nurturing love for yourself is the first step in being able to fully be vulnerable in the giving and receiving of love throughout your life. We will do our best to help nurture this important quality!
Through experiential learning, we will discuss this hot topic on many levels and practice it with one another in a healthy way. Feeling the sense of safety and acceptance at CLH can help set the foundation for accepting love in your life.
Let's encourage our youth to take control of their lives through experiential learning! Empowerment activities combined with healthy communication can help build strong mindsets, coping skills for when life hits us hard, and teaches us ways to be resourceful when needed. We need to focus on building each other UP rather than tearing people down. This will all create a powerful ripple effect!
Acceptance is one of the hardest skills in life to master. We may have to accept the very challenging things that happen to us in this life as well as our responsibilities, but we also have the power in how we respond to it and can have support during that process.
Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are. We are here to support you and challenge you on this journey as you grow, learn, and explore who you really are and what this life is all about.
Over time, you can build resilience through your experiences. We are here to support and challenge you as you go through your adolescent years and navigate many areas of your life. Learning how to "bounce back" from challenges is possible but no one should have to always do it alone. You can learn to be the "orchestrator of your own life". Stepping into your own power is life-changing!