“I think teenagers both locally and across the country should get a more thorough medical exam from their primary care givers.”
Last June, Umoja debuted HOPE 4 the Future, a summer camp for children and teens. In its initial season, it served 78 youths.
No parent wants to talk about pornography with their child. No child wants to talk about porn with their parents. These are facts.
Yet John Van Arnam of Black Mountain has taken the Sisyphean task of making sure these conversations occur. Children’s mental and physical health depend on it, he says.
Delaney Burke, who directs youth operations for the YMCA in Western North Carolina, says she notices that adolescent volunteers get as much out of their service as do the younger kids with whom they work. “They take leadership roles,” she says. “And when they see themselves as leaders, they become more confident.”
While the overall number of emergency department visits was lower in 2020 than in 2019, potentially due to people avoiding hospitals out of COVID-19 concerns, the proportion of visits by teens with thoughts of suicide increased. Among North Carolina kids age 10 to 14, suicidal ideation visits accounted for 3.5% of all ED visits in 2020, up from 2.4% in 2019.
“For millennia, in societies around the world, elders and adults have known how to spot the signs of a teenager ready for initiation. But today in America, even though boys haven’t stopped reaching the age when their inner fire wells up, we are failing to meet them where they’re at with a rite of passage.”
“I challenge you to tell a girl she’s beautiful with or without makeup, or that extra 15 pounds. And not only say it, mean it, too.”