The rise of armed violence and terrorism in many parts of the world is often linked to the growing number of youth in crisis. In sub-Saharan Africa and failed states, youth played a key role in civil unrest. In response, anthropologist Paul Richards described a ‘crisis of youth’ and a ‘lost generation.’ While there is no one cause for a youth crisis, many factors contribute to the problem.
Several factors make adolescents particularly vulnerable to traumatic events. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a growing concern. Suicide rates among youth rose by 57% between 2007 and 2018. Early estimates indicate that more than 6,600 young people will die by suicide in the United States by 2020. The impact of these events is both personal and societal. It is important to provide youth with support and resources that will help them to recover from their current crisis.
Many of these young people struggle to get a job. Despite increasing education levels, many are still without a decent income. Many end up joining street gangs or getting involved in sexual exploitation. Moreover, the majority of youth in poverty lack the necessary skills to contribute to society. While global progress has been made in terms of youth attending school, this progress has been uneven across regions and gender. In Asia, the gender gap in literacy rates is widening.
In developing countries, the disenchanted youth are even more dramatic. Millions of young people struggle to survive and often turn to illegal methods of making money. Many live on the edge of society, eking out a living in the black market. They are particularly vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS and other diseases. They are also forced to enlist in sexual exploitation, which often involves their sexual exploitation. And in some countries, they become domestic servants.
The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is calling the community to join an online discussion. The National Runaway Safeline, part of the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, will present key findings of the 2020 Crisis Services and Prevention Report, and will discuss what this means for prevention efforts. A panel of experts will discuss ways to meet the needs of the homeless youth. This is an ongoing discussion about youth in crisis and what can be done to help them.
There are many resources that youth leaders can turn to for assistance. A youth leader can help a student get help, and a youth leader should let them know that he or she wants to talk about their problem with parents. Some youth do not want their parents to know their problems because they feel ashamed. However, youth leaders can acknowledge these feelings and stress that parental knowledge can open doors to more resources. They should also be aware of the fact that youth in crisis often feel embarrassed about the problem, but it is important for them to seek help anyway.
Many youth in conflict are at risk for violence, and violence is a leading cause of death among youth. Armed conflict has caused two million deaths and orphaned one million more. Hundreds of thousands of youth are serving as child soldiers. Many girls are forced into sexual slavery. Ultimately, this is a problem that requires the involvement of law enforcement and other community resources. Those resources and programs are the only way to prevent a youth from becoming another statistic.
Residential treatment for youth in crisis is an option for families that want to intervene. These programs provide crisis counseling and temporary shelter for youth who are in crisis. The goal of the CINS/FINS program is to divert status offenses from court. Those who are adjudicated as delinquent or dependent will not be eligible for these services. These programs help youth to make better decisions and move away from a dangerous situation.
Suicide rates have risen steadily in recent years, and are the second leading cause of death for youth in North America. Close to 3% of pediatric emergency department visits involve youth in crisis. However, few studies describe the appropriate treatment methods for these youth. In many cases, these young people are unlikely to seek help elsewhere. So, the best solution for the youth in crisis is to work with a community that already has resources for addressing this crisis.