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Over the past several of weeks, social media has been rocked with the alarming news of young people committing suicide. Some experts have suggested that young people today are more susceptible to mental health problems compared to the generations before them. We asked young people whether or not this assessment is valid.

Mental health

Yes. Young people nowadays have a “standard tunnel” that is not always accessible to friends and family. Because of this, meaningful communication is frequently blocked or ignored. This makes them an easy victim to mental health problems.—Peter, 4th year college

I agree that young people are more susceptible to having mental health issues because of the changes in the way we live today, and how it affects the youth’s experiences as we grow up. Also, teenagers are also more prone to emotional turmoil as their minds and bodies develop. —Denny, Grade 10

I agree. The pressure that social media has put on the youth today has exposed us to a lot of mental health issues. There’s also the need to cope with social media bullying. Life was much simpler before. —Jorge, 4th year college

I agree. Since we are born in this “techie” era, it is quiet unavoidable for us to have our own social media accounts. Apparently, these social networking sites are becoming more toxic for young people’s minds today. This negativity adds up to the burden we are experiencing aside from the academic stress. —Joanna, Grade 12

I agree because in today’s time, people tend to expect more from the youth, the demands are higher compared to how it was before. In return, the youth pressure themselves to do more. Also, it is likely that the pressure does not only come from them but from those people who surround them. The youth today are also very much involved in current socio-political issues, which adds to the agony of living in a society like this. —Krystelle, Grade 12

I agree that young people today are more susceptible to mental health problems. Personally, I feel like I get more anxious compared to my mom. I’d like to think it’s because we’re more knowledgeable about mental health issues compared to older people, so we are more aware of everything (in terms of the things that weigh us down and all). —Mika, 4th year college

I disagree. I think young people nowadays aren’t really susceptible, but rather, there are more developmental factors that induce them to have mental health issues. First off, mental health hasn’t been a topic of discourse long enough for us to truly determine how many people have been suffering from it in the previous generations. Since it has been brought to light in the recent decade, we have become more aware of its impact on society. Lastly, the factors that affect one’s mental health are developing the same way society and technology develop. Since we have more complex social norms and practices, more and more people are unable to cope because so many things are new. —Caros, 4th year college

I agree. The reason for this, I believe, is social media. Social media encourages comparison with other people’s lives in a way that hasn’t ever been seen before. —Marco, 4th year college

No. I think in the case of students, some of us are just too busy cram ming, running after good grades that – we sometimes forget to take good care of our health, both mentally and physically. I am guilty of this. Since I started in college, I’d been caught up in meeting certain academic require ments, and it’s been so stressful for – me. To accomplish all of these, I have to sacrifice even my sleeping time just to get a good grade for each subject. —Jonathan, 1st year college

dealing with heavy work load. As a student running with honors, I need to finish everything assigned to me with perfection. There are people around me—or us, the youth—who expect a lot from us. Not meeting their expectations and disappointing them also affect our feelings and emotions. —Rhayan, Grade 9

I agree that we are more susceptible to mental health issues, especially students who are always in pursuit of excellence. Personally, having been part of different organizations, it’s difficult to juggle academic and extracurricular duties. It’s not only the workload that makes everything exhausting, it’s also sleep deprivation and overthinking. —Nikko, Grade 12

To those who are in emotional crisis or need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to dial HOPELINE. Contact numbers: (02) 804-HOPE (4673) or 0917 558 HOPE (4673) or 2919, toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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