15 February 2018

I can’t explain how today makes me feel. For some reason, this particular school shooting struck a chord with me. Though every shooting makes me completely distraught, I feel like I have faced a new level of determination to bring more attention to this topic with this shooting. This week, I have analysed and studied every article on the web about mental health. I wanted to bring a lot of substance and statistics to my TED talk on Saturday, and there’s a whole lot I didn’t know about a young mind until this week.

This is a great article on dopamine & the teenage mind

This is an article on how teens minds progress

I’ve become drastically more aware of how young minds develop over the past few days. Young minds don’t have access to all of their frontal and back lobes (basically, what helps you make rational decisions) and because of that, it can be much more difficult than adults know for teens to make rational decisions. Ever wonder why your teen can’t seem to get their work done on time, or even keep their room tidy? That’s because teenagers lack access to their frontal lobes, using their judgement to say: “I’ve had enough” or “I need to stop and do something else” is still a weakness for them.

Yesterday was a horrific day in society. So was Sandy Hook. So was every other damn shooting that’s happened. I despise guns, and I have no shame saying I despise people who think that gun control isn’t an issue. If you believe that gun control isn’t an issue, I question every one of your life decisions. Along with Trump being a terrible human being and President of this country, we’re facing such a deeper issue in society here. We lack the skills and knowledge to teach everyone from kids to adults about mental health, and because of that, shootings continue to happen. Guns continue to be purchased by young people who “pass background checks” yet avidly promote guns and murder on their social media pages.

Tell me why a social media page can even be ACTIVE if someone is promoting heinous acts of violence? Free speech is one thing. But there are warning signs here, and there are triggers in many young adults who go on to harm themselves or others. Instead of being in denial, and avoiding the issues that many young people face, let’s face them head on. Let’s speak up about the young people who need help. Because teens are so powerful, and have the possibility to do so much with their lives!

I encourage you to learn as much as you can about your mind, and others minds. I encourage you to speak out about topics that you feel passionate about: in front of and behind your computer screen. Because that’s what the world needs: new, strong voices.

If you need resources, or personal help, check out the Media Impact and Navigation for Teens resource page.




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