Wednesday, 11 February 2015
In these days of rapacious media where the smallest detail can be beamed around the world in moments, young people are endangered more than ever before. They can be lured by online "friends" who are not who they say they are. They can be mercilessly bullied from behind the anonymity of a computer screen. Careless or private moments are photographed and later used for physical and emotional blackmail.
An increasing number of young people are buckling under the pressure. A couple whom I've known for 25 years lost their 14 year old son to suicide in January. Another friend's 13 year old daughter has been cutting herself, to the point where she has ended up in the hospital three times in the past month. Countless teens across the continent have been bullied into killing themselves. Some have become so disillusioned by the world's state of affairs that they've gone to the Middle East to fight for extremist groups in order to be "part of something".
As the caregivers and teachers of the next generation we need to be more engaged, and focus more on education and prevention. Otherwise our young folks don't stand much of a chance.