I have been an educator and principal while practicing as a therapist. In that time, I have worked amongst some of the most incredible individuals and some of the most lost children. I spent most of my time at these educational establishments developing relationships that would provide support on how to overcome many emotional issues as well as assist my students in understanding how these emotions affect them. Never was this part of their required education yet I incorporated this development in many areas of our interactions and lessons. The result has been incredible relationships which I cherish each day yet most importantly they have developed the tools and support to overcome many of the day to day issues we all experience.
It saddens me to know that in such a progressive country we have not recognized the value of teaching our children communication, relational, and emotional skills. What we have done with our education system is increased the testing abilities of our youth in a rogue memory platform and put. We require high school students to pass classes such as Chemistry & Algebra II to earn high school diplomas yet never are our youth taught how to communicate effectively (intimately - making yourself vulnerable) or explore emotions such as depression and anxiety. I have heard the counter argument to my view from individuals on the board of education and politicians, stating this is a responsibility for parents to teach their children. Well here is the big issue: If an adult doesn't know the difference between stress and anxiety, or use "I" statements with their partner to explore sensitive issues, then how is a child ever suppose to learn these attributes from them.
Todays generation is learning to communicate via video, instant message, and text messaging. Long gone are the phone conversations on a land line where conversations are meaningful. Now communication is done quickly with a brief dialogue outsourcing information efficiently. Lost is the meaning and intimacy of an individual. As a result, our youth are not developing the tools to connect authentically, empathize, manage conflict, and ultimately be vulnerable to nurture healthy relationships. Not only is our educational system failing us when it comes mental health development but our society as whole has become blinded by situational values and lost is deep connection which leads to fulfillment. We have created more individualization and more lost souls. Mental health issues such as PTSD, suicide, and substance abuse to name a few have risen. At what point to we need to take a serious look at the affects on our neglect of mental health issues in our education of youth. Its time we start to except that anger, sadness, and fear play a role in each of our lives. Mental health issues do not just affect the few but all mankind.
The link below is a great article on suicide prevention and the need for a better approach.