The recent escalation in armed violence in sub-Saharan Africa is an example of a youth in crisis. Armed conflict is generally associated with failed states and collapsed economies. Despite these associations, anthropologist Paul Richards has also spoken of a youth crisis and the emergence of a ‘lost generation’. Violence continues to plague many regions of the world. In this article, we will examine the current state of affairs among young people, and consider what we can do to help these youth.
Youth in crisis occurs when young adults realize they will be 40 in fifteen years. Most are out of college, with a B.A. in arts and sciences. They ruminate on what they have missed out on in youth, and they struggle to find meaning in life. Sadly, they often do not settle down until their late twenties. This situation leaves many young adults unmarried and struggling to make ends meet. Youth in crisis have an increased risk of contracting diseases like HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.
As a result of this, mental health issues are a leading cause of disability in young people. According to the CDC, nearly one-third of high school students reported persistent sadness and poor mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Another third reported that they had made or seriously considered suicide in the past year. Youth in crisis is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. The solution to youth in crisis lies in understanding how to prevent youth from suffering from mental illness.
Several factors contribute to the high incidence of mental health issues among youth. In particular, disconnection from peers, lack of access to health care, and unstable housing are common causes of mental illness in children. Children who experience such disconnection may also have difficulty functioning in school and in the workplace, resulting in a decline in overall health. If you notice signs of these issues, it is time to seek help. There are several services available to help youth in crisis.
Suicide rates in youth have increased significantly in the last 20 years. In fact, they have increased by over 57% in the last decade. Early projections for 2020 show that more than six thousand young people will die by suicide. The numbers of suicide attempts have risen by 40 percent since COVID-19 was implemented in North Carolina. And the number of drug overdoses and suicide attempts have increased by 40 percent. Involuntary commitments and drug overdoses have increased dramatically as well.
Teens in crisis often describe feelings of hopelessness and even thoughts of self-harm. As a result, safety becomes the top priority. If a safe environment cannot be created, hospitalization is often recommended. Children in crisis often spend days or weeks in emergency rooms. Many have stories of domestic violence and abuse. If you or someone you know is suffering from this crisis, seek treatment immediately. These children deserve our support. When you find them, they’ll be glad you did.
A petition for youth protection must state the names of the youth, his parents and a responsible adult. It must state why a youth was referred and what the petitioner wants the court to do about it. Once a juvenile court has imposed a protective order, the youth cannot be charged as a delinquent and can’t be sent to a state correctional facility. In addition, the youth must pay a fee to a probation officer in order to get the necessary services.
In addition to their high rates of unemployment and poverty, young people who are suffering from these conditions are also more likely to join armed groups, street gangs, or sexual exploitation. Despite their high numbers, most of these youth do not possess the skills or training to contribute to society, and thus they swell the ranks of the low paid. And the future of these young people depends on how these countries are able to deal with the population explosion.
The National Runaway Safeline invites the community to participate in a virtual conversation on the state of youth homelessness. This event will also include key findings from the 2020 Crisis Services and Prevention Report. The presenters will discuss what the findings mean for prevention strategies. A panel discussion will follow, in which participants will explore how we can meet the needs of homeless youth. In this session, the National Runaway Safeline will highlight the current state of homeless youth and discuss what they can do to help them.