There is, after all, some evidence that Gen-Z youth report higher rates of mental health conditions, especially depression, than prior generations. However, we must ask whether they've simply normalized the reporting of this and getting more help, especially therapy, than generations prior. Alternatively, consider this piece by the "Is Gen Z more depressed?" which suggests actually higher rates of depression than earlier generations.
That said, author Mike Males' sensemaking is on point:
If schools gave the tiniest iota about student mental health, they’d start schooldays later to accommodate youthful circadian rhythms instead of grownup convenience, end the mind-warping stresses of high-stakes standardized testing, and diligently pursue abuse reports against school staff instead of covering them up.
If youths could sue adults for inflicting mental injury, schools would be among the first hauled into court. Right alongside legislators, whose starving of higher education by cutting taxes for selfish property owners fostered $1.7 trillion in student debt. Punitive lifelong debt to get an education drives student stresses not inflicted on older generations.
Based on what we're witnessing currently in the Texas State Legislature where legislators—who are either Boomers or Gen-X-ers—are bringing a lot of stress and heartache to Gen-Z youth and younger millennials, I can't even imagine how one can be a young person and NOT be stressed or depressed by the hurtful agenda against them, their generation.
Post-pandemic life is still hard for lots of folks and these anti-diversity, anti-youth politicians are giving everybody a lot more grief than these youth, or anyone, deserve.
-Angela ValenzuelaPhoto by Liza Summer