Our perspective: The psychiatric care of young people

It’s not easy being young today.

The pressure comes from all sides.

There is academic pressure to meet high standards and get good grades – after two years of confiscated learning that was no doubt damaging.

There’s peer pressure to grow up fast – too fast – by experimenting with vaping, drinking, and intimate situations that they’re emotionally unprepared for – as if these were “grown up” things. There’s the physical pressure to develop bodies and pump up hormones.

There’s the emotional pressure as they face a future that may seem bleak, with uncertain jobs and a degraded world with increasingly violent storms and extreme temperatures.

There are the other people they have to contend with — parents who may be inattentive or abusive, politicians who try to limit what they’re allowed to learn, and political activists who want to box them into boxes that they’re not will never fit.

People also read…

There is a chance that a madman with a gun is after them.

And there’s inevitable social media that can burden young women with body image issues that lead to disease and young men with extremist views about masculinity. Many could fall prey to trolls and predators. As President Biden said earlier this year, social media companies are conducting a “national experiment … with our children for profit.”

It’s no wonder depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are skyrocketing in our young people, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia University, and other agencies.

Many have families to lean on; spiritual advisors who respond to their needs; friends to express sympathy and understanding; community.

READ :  Bausch + Lomb debuts Project Watson health care products for dogs

But not everyone has access to these resources. Some still find themselves desperately alone and struggling.

Fortunately, their teachers, trainers and system administrators take care of it. They will do what they can.

All to say that we appreciate the free mental and behavioral health training being offered to school staff by a recent initiative by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Journal’s Richard Craver reported Monday. In addition to training, counseling services are offered over several months through the NC Psychiatry Access Line, also known as NC-PAL.

“The North Carolina Psychiatry Access Line is dramatically expanding access to mental health care for children,” State Health Secretary Kody Kinsley said in a statement.

“Now staff in 130 schools have direct access to mental health professionals who can help them better support our students.”

You will need the training. Sometimes caring isn’t enough; we have to learn how take care of.

However, it all starts with listening.

Participants include Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Guilford County Schools and the school systems of Ashe County, Davie County, Lexington City, Surry County, Watauga County and Yadkin County.

Additionally, it is a relief to learn that a new 54-bed inpatient psychiatric facility for children and adolescents is opening in Butner – with hopes to open by July 1.

It was badly needed. Currently, according to the DHHS, more than 250 people are waiting for behavioral health services in emergency rooms every day, 20% of whom are children and adolescents.

While we appreciate the provision of these resources and are confident they will help, we cannot fail the state. As Leandro’s court decision makes clear, our schools deserve much, much more from the NC legislature. If our children are to have a healthy future, the days of dragging feet are over; the purse strings must be loosened.

READ :  Kirby Bates Associates Seeks CEO for Community-University Health Care Center

As these needs increase, we must all ask ourselves why – to ask what kind of society we are building for our children – and how we can do our part to improve it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *