young people are stressed, globally

Mental Health Disorders Prevalent Among Youth Worldwide | Brain Blogger:
"Overall, mental health disorders were the most prevalent source of disability for young people worldwide, accounting for 45% of total morbidity. Disorders included major depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The next most prevalent causes of disability were injuries (12%) and infectious and parasitic diseases (10%)."
Correlation is not causation but it is worth noting the huge changes in young people's lives since the factory system of education went global. The ever-lengthening years of schoolwork, all indoors, has greatly changed the lives of young people in the past 100 years. (NOTE: There is an error in the text re US stats, that should read "substantially higher.")
In the United States, the prevalence of mental health disorders among adolescents and young adults is substantially lower than what was reported in this study. Approximately one-third of young people in the US meet the criteria for at least one mental health disorder, with anxiety being the most common condition. Comorbidity among mental health disorders is high, and four out of ten young people with one mental health disorder meet the criteria for an additional disorder. Overall, more than one in five young people experience severe impairment or stress due to mental health disorders.
But is massive screening the answer?

Why Screening Teens for Mental Illness Is a Terrible Idea | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network
"Mental illness is devastating for children as well as adults, and medication, when used wisely and sparingly, can help. But clearly our current approach to treating disturbed young people is broken. Let me give Whitaker the last word: “Twenty years ago, our society began regularly prescribing psychiatric drugs to children and adolescents, and now one out of every 15 Americans enters adulthood with a ‘serious mental illness.’ That is proof of the most tragic sort that our drug-based paradigm of care is doing a great deal more harm than good.”"
Large pharma corporations have already provided massive medication since pills are what big corporations push. Other therapies cost too much and more and more don't have health care coverage anyway. Many families need better food and more time to cook, exercise and more time to get it, more positive time together, and more control over their schedules.  Many families need better institutions: work and schools that are more democratic, more open access, and flexible and creative, like the top corporations are.

We could try changing the schools instead of changing the people. 

We could allow kids and families far greater control over a system that increasingly, young people are medicating to cope with. Kids and families that could control what they learned and when, kids and families who were not in involuntary factory schools would begin building schedules and lifestyles that were more personally productive and tailored to their family choices.  And kids would learn more and be happier, each in a customized situation.

Sustainable institutions need to become far more flexible and humane. In a world where human capital matters, we need to understand that people are our most valuable resource.  Unsustainable institutions can be changed. Factory schools that rank and grade their standardized product and have been stripped of the ability to provide good food and positive social interactions are relics of history: top global firms don't work that way.

Neither should the schools.


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