Sharing – Does childhood adversity dilute life’s meaning? New research reveals surprising findings.

Sharing – Does childhood adversity dilute life’s meaning? New research reveals surprising findings.

It doesn’t have to be a grand purpose either, just something that makes you want to return each day. It can be wanting to learn something new, be there for the important days for a friend or family member, see what happens with Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, or whatever makes you want to get up the next day to be part of it. That moves us to healing, showing up for our lives each day. That, to me, is purpose. What keeps you here? What keeps you connected to other people?

Do more of that.

Are Active Shooter Drills Harming Kids Mental Health?

Are Active Shooter Drills Harming Kids Mental Health?

But what is the least harmful way to deal with that? What is the least harmful way to inform kids of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza? What is the least harmful way to prepare kids for the natural disasters that seem only to get worse each year?

I don’t know. What I do know is that dealing with all of this is hard and only part of the causes of increased needs for youth mental health. Our current mental health system failed many people for years when the need wasn’t this high. What we are doing isn’t working. Continuing to do the same thing won’t work. Fighting against increased funding and availability of resources won’t work. Hiding our heads in the sand and saying, “not my kid,” won’t work. This is a society-wide problem that will require societal change. I am not sure we are willing to make those changes, but an entire generation of kids will pay the price for that unwillingness.

The Truth About Trafficking From A 20-year Veteran of the Child Exploitation Task Force

The Truth About Trafficking From A 20-year Veteran of the Child Exploitation Task Force

I think she’s right about that last point. I’ve written many times about the stories I hear, over and over again, where people don’t want to hear about child abuse and sexual abuse. It’s too sad and dirty. It isn’t very pleasant. People don’t want to know about how much sex trafficking goes on right around us every day and the hard work we could do to solve the problem. They’d rather believe conspiracy theories and look to their “heroes,” who are nothing but con artists, to fix it for them by going on rescue missions or attacking the “elites” who are supposedly controlling all sex trafficking around the world. That seems simpler than solving the problems that make kids vulnerable to trafficking: poverty, abuse, racism, a lack of support for kids transitioning out of foster care, or LGBTQ kids whom their own families do not accept.

Those are real problems that create vulnerable kids who go on to become real victims. Fixing them will require hard work and resources from all of us.

Mental Health and Elections

Mental Health and Elections

We have to address societal issues that cause harm. Politicians who don’t address both the lack of mental health resources and the various political issues that actively harm the mental health of all of us don’t deserve our vote. If you consider yourself a mental health advocate, consider how your representatives have voted and where they stand on these issues. Have they cut mental health funding, opposed mental health support in schools, or supported laws that cause active mental harm to some segments of the population?

Consider that before you go to the voting booth this year.

The Positive Impacts of Social Media

The Positive Impacts of Social Media

This is the world we live in. Not one where teens would be fine if only they didn’t have social media, but one where teens take to social media to get information about mental health and other issues that they can’t talk to anyone else about. Getting rid of social media for minors will leave a void similar to the one I had growing up, where no one I knew talked about abuse or mental health issues, so I assumed I was the only one dealing with it.

That’s not a better world. I think a world where minors can access information provided by advocates who educate themselves about the facts and share their own lived experiences is invaluable. That’s what following these accounts can provide.