Given the number of different stressors present for Gen Z, it is not surprising that rates of depression and anxiety are on the rise. But what do we do about it? Although there is no clear-cut solution and we will likely never see an end to depression and anxiety within youth, there are many steps we can take to provide support.
Listen to youth and hear them. It can be easy to say, “you don’t understand” or “I have more life experience.” I am sure we have all heard something similar at some point in our lives, and to some extent, these statements are true. But the world is changing and the youth of today are growing up with these changes. Their experiences are different and the only way we can begin to understand is to give them the space to share this new world with us.
As parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, whatever your role, try to understand what Gen Z is going through. We may all remember what it is like to be a teenager, but we don’t know what it’s like to grow up today and we can’t, unless we start asking and listening.