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WILMINGTON, NC, April 13, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The mental health crisis experienced by young people in the United States has reached an abysmal level. We can blame schools shooting such as the most recent in Nashville (one of many so far this year), we can blame climate change, the pandemic, bullying, the state of education – the list is endless. But the time for blame is past and the time for action is now.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is taking action now to save a generation of girls now. She recently offered a number of ways to mitigate the life-shattering effects of depression in young people:
"One of the effects of the pandemic has been an increase in depression in kids. Recent research suggests even more depression in our girls than our young boys. I've been very concerned about both our boys and girls over the pandemic years, as they have had to endure all sorts of losses and confusions as schools closed, schools went virtual, sports were canceled, proms were canceled, graduations in person were cancelled, etc. Even children as young as 1 year old were affected by the pandemic as they lost valuable time in learning to read facial expressions as people in their lives went around wearing masks.
"I don't think any child in our country went without some level of strain during the last 3 years. I'm concerned about all our children, yet as one professional I can not concentrate on all. My specialty as a positive psychologist is girls and women. And now my concern is helping our girls cope with their mental health coming out of the pandemic years.
"Boys and girls are somewhat different as they go through the stages of growing up. Boys can be thrilled being on a baseball team, while girls can be thrilled taking competitive ballet classes. I'm going to leave boys to another expert, and talk to you a little more about girls. Most girls are social beings. That said, the flow of normal activity has been interrupted for at least 3 years for most girls. Once you take away normal activities to do and look forward to, life can be quite bleak for many girls.
"Now that things are pretty much back to normal in the world at large, it doesn't mean that every girl has just popped into place again. For many girls 3 years was a long time and friends may have fallen away, school may be hard to adjust to, family life may be less stable than before the pandemic, etc. So that's why we have to so carefully watch and help our girls so that we don't miss depressive signs in some of them. Here are things to watch for and suggestions as to help us save our generation of girls:"
1. Anxiety: Anxiety and depression are related. Girls who worry excessively, have difficulty sleeping, or struggle with separation anxiety can be at higher risk for depression.
2. Social media: Even at very young ages, girls now spend a lot of time on social media. While it can be fun and very engaging for them, it can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. Girls who spend a lot of time on social media may be more likely to compare themselves to others and may experience cyberbullying.
3. Bullying: Bullying can have a terrible impact on a young girl's mental health, and girls who are bullied may be more a lot more likely to experience depression.
4. Peer pressure: Most girls experience pressure from their peers to fit in, which may lead to them engaging in risky behaviors. This can also be a source of stress and anxiety, which may contribute to feelings of depression.
5. Loneliness: Girls who feel lonely or disconnected from others (such as during the pandemic) may be more likely to experience depression. This can occur if a young girl experiences significant life changes, such as moving to a new school.
"We have to remember that every girl is unique and may experience depression for many different reasons. By understanding these risk factors, parents, grandparents and even educators can take steps to support their mental health.
"What can we do to help them?
"There are many ways that we can help young girls cope with these challenges."
1. Validate their feelings: All girls need to feel heard and understood. When they express their feelings, it is important to acknowledge those feelings and let them know that it's okay to feel that way.
2. Provide support: Girls who feel safe and loved are better equipped to deal with stress and challenges. Create an environment where children can feel comfortable expressing themselves.
3. Encourage healthy habits: Exercise, good sleep, and healthy eating habits can all contribute to better mental health for girls. Encourage them to engage in physical activity, get enough sleep, and eat right.
4. Teach coping skills: Coping techniques can all of us manage our feelings of anxiety and stress.
5. Seek professional help if needed: If a child's anxiety or depression is causing problems or interferes with their day to day life, it may be helpful to seek professional support.
6. Address bullying and peer pressure: Parents and others should be aware of any signs of bullying and take action to address the situation. This may include talking to teachers or maybe teaching them assertiveness skills.
By taking these steps, we can help girls build resilience, self-esteem and help them to cope with the challenges of growing up.
Dr. Holstein hopes to bring parents, teachers, librarians, grandparents and media together to accomplish one goal: Change in the lives of young people who suffer from anxiety and a growing sense of hopelessness and despair.
Dr. Holstein wraps Positive Psychology concepts in forms of media that young people find engaging, relatable and inspiring. These include:
Three Bestselling, award-winning books (perfect for school libraries)
Four self-esteem workbooks for girls 8 and up
Award-winning films and coming of age selfie films
A library of articles
As a school psychologist and in her private practice, Dr. Holstein has worked with many children and parents, helping them to develop life skills in decision-making, recognition of their own talents, feel more courageous, and helping both kids and parents develop more successful inter-generational skills. Her last book, 'Conflict and a Bit of Magic', helps kids build self-esteem though reading the journal of a girl, identifying with the girl, and understanding they have more courage and resiliency than they thought they had. The book is based on the experiences of the already famous "girl" from 'The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween' and 'Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen', and achieved bestseller status in the multi-generational families category.
Dr. Holstein's cutting-edge presentations, most recently based on the Covid-19 pandemic issues, can be found on both YouTube, Vimeo and on the Roku channel and Amazon Fire TV, titled as 'The Enchanted Self Presents'.
Dr. Holstein recently created The Selfie Showcase, a new project emerging from The Selfie Project, that allows young people to voice their opinions on subjects that matter to young people, including the pandemic.
The Selfie Showcase allows kids, teens, and young adults ages 13 to 18 to candidly express their concerns, worries, observations and possible solutions by creating selfie videos or films around important subjects using a smartphone. Dr. Holstein's mission is to help rectify, in several ways, some issues young people face by giving them a chance to engage with others in meaningful ways about the anxiety and stress they must grapple with constantly.
Dr. Holstein is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. 'Seven Ways To Help Your Family Recover From The Pandemic' is available at Amazon. More information about the Selfie Showcase is available at http://www.selfiefilmmakers.com. Selfie videos and selfie films can be uploaded at the site. Potential podcast guests can contact Dr. Holstein by email. More information is available at her primary website at http://www.enchantedself.com.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness and a pioneer in Selfies as Film. Dr. Holstein's Enchanted Self website was included as one of the best websites in positive psychology. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting. Her Roku channel is: The Enchanted Self Presents.
She has been a contributor to Your Tango, Heart and Soul, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Honey Good, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, Women's World, The Wall Street Journal, Psychcentral.com, Time online, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.
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