Eve L. Wisconsin

Teenagers: The Depressed 20%

8 million teenagers each year feel depressed and unwanted, most not even getting counseling. In 2014, 5,079 teenagers age 15 to 24 committed suicide, most being depressed. This has to stop.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 20% of teenagers have or will suffer from depression. This means that about 8 million teenagers will become mournful, sad, and depressed. Most of these teens do not receive any counseling for their depression. Untreated depression can lead to suicide.

According too the New York Times, Suicide is now the leading cause of death among pre-adolescents aged 10 - 14. And the Center for Disease Control says in 2014 the leading cause of death among 15 - 24 was caused by traffic (6,531) followed by suicides (5,079).

This is actually happening. It might sound like a trailer for a movie titled “The apocalypse”, accompanied by shots of people jumping off tall buildings and a soundtrack of wailing and moaning. But it’s not. Those facts are from the real world, and they need to be stopped.

A culprit of depression in teenagers is social media. Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat help people share every moment - both good and bad. Before social media, public embarrassment was seen by a small group of people, and shared with a small group of people. With social media, the whole club/school/ town/city/state/country/ world/ can hear about something in mere minutes, lengthening teasing even more. People are embarrassed, reminded, teased and maybe bullied because of what was shared over social media.

You might think that depression is microscopic compared to some other issues, like war and illegal immigration, but the truth is that it could be almost equal to those problems.

The government should expand the amount of information about mental health treatment in the public libraries. This will allow people who know someone with a mental health issue too learn how they can support them. It would also be helpful if there was an online quiz that will determine mental health and help depressed people regain control of their minds.

Wauwatosa West High School

Wauwatosa West American Public Policy

All juniors are enrolled in a required civics and public policy course called American Public Policy. The capstone project is the Issue Investigation - students identify an issue that can be solved by the creation, modification, elimination of a public policy. Student letters are their first research step in the Issue Investigation process.

All letters from this group →