Growing up in today's technologically advanced world has made the impossible possible and has given us access to information at the touch of a button.
With everything available to us all of the time, what effect is this digital era having on us all, in particular, our youth?
Having technology as a large portion of their day our youth have different kinds of battles and different stressors to contend with than previous generations.
The online landscape is a landmine of cyber crimes, cyberbullying, violence and more interspersed with information, amazing experiences and opportunities that open so many doors. Children often find themselves trying to navigate this arena unsupported or uninformed. Parents and caregivers can struggle to protect their children from what is going on behind the screen and to have technology play a constructive role in their child's life.
This World Mental Health Day 2018 the World Federation for Mental Health is focusing on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World. They want to bring attention to the issues our youth and young adults are facing in our world today and begin the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy and resilient.
As the World Federation for Mental Health points out, the "suicide and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising, youth are feeling alone and persecuted for being true to themselves and young adults are at the age when serious mental illnesses can occur and yet they are taught little to nothing about mental illness and wellbeing."
How can we help this vulnerable generation to protect themselves?
The more we can talk about the issues the more we learn. The more we learn the more we understand. Understanding helps to create a safe and supportive environment for our youth that builds resilience. Technology can give information, but through talking we can teach skills.
Can you start a conversation today in support of World Mental Health Day?
Open a dialogue about bullying, violence, trauma, gender identity, depression, suicide, self harm, substance abuse, mental health or resilience. Provide a safe environment for your child to talk to you about these issues. Give them resources and information about the common triggers of youth mental health.
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Alternatively contact your GP for the support and resources that can help you or your family member.
Resources that you or your child might find useful :