It’s hard for teenagers to hear the conversation around them be so bleak.
Kids growing up in the U.S. today are facing some terrifyingly real, daunting problems. Almost every day, they hear about political polarization, racism, climate change, gun violence and a host of other complex societal issues. They’re learning how to comprehend those challenges and the emotions they evoke at the same time they’re trying to learn everything else, and that overwhelm has consequences. Our mental health system is not robust enough to handle the current demand, for kids or adults, and not everyone gets the help they need. Professionals and parents alike are putting their heads together to come up with out-of-the-box ways of filling the gaps. In this panel discussion at Aspen Ideas, three experts in child development and psychology talk about solutions, big and small, that can help kids through these difficult times. Author and former college dean Julie Lythcott-Haims moderates the conversation between Christine Yu Moutier, chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Lisa Damour, clinical psychologist and writer, and Rick Weissbourd, psychologist and senior lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Graduate School of Education.