Suicide has risen dramatically among young Americans from ages 10 to 24. It is now the second leading cause of death after accidents.
Child psychologist Peter Gray says the trend may be linked not to social media or screen time, but to more stressed out kids, who are driven to excel all the time.
Gray says unstructured play time is what helps children develop much-needed resilience and courage, and it’s desperately missing in today’s jam-packed student schedules.
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More young people are dying by suicide every year, and child psychologist Peter Gray thinks he may know why.
“I think it’s fairly obvious, school is becoming really stressful,” Gray told Insider, pointing to data he’s collected from across the country which suggests that more children think about, attempt, and die by suicide during the schoolyear than during winter holidays or summer breaks.
Many American kids are driven to excel in school, athletics, and every other extra-curricular area of life, developing near-perfect resumes for college and beyond. But the stress and anxiety they feel may be too much. Psychologists say that young people need more time for play and self-guided exploration, without scrutiny from adults.
“What we’re doing to children in school is, in my mind, cruel,” Gray said. “People want to blame social media, they want to blame video games, they want to blame bullying by other kids — this is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.”
It’s a sentiment that mirrors what cycling coach Charlie Townsend told Business Insider after one of his former cyclists, 23-year-old Olympic silver medalist Kelly Catlin, died by suicide last spring, just months after sustaining a concussion during winter bike training.
“The suicide really has caused me to do a …read more
Source:: Business Insider