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Colorado Teens Say School Stress, Phones, Social Pressure Are Behind Growing Mental Health Issues

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On a chilly May night last spring, hundreds of teens crammed into the entrance of Highlands Ranch High School. The kids, sad and angry, were there for a memorial for a teen killed in a school shooting less than a week prior. And in an instant, all their emotions about that night, about what their lives are like, about the help they’re not getting, came out in a chant:

“Mental health!” they cried. “Mental health! Mental health!”

It was chilling. It was deep anguish. This group of teens demanded attention be paid to their frustrations. Their stories about what school’s like, the pressure they’re under, how they see the world – poured out. One girl at the event described what her depression feels like:

“It’s an illness. It’s like little puppeteers and it pulls strings and eventually when no one talks to you anymore, when no one wants to be your friend, when no one wants to see you, when you’re starting to fall in grades, when you feel like you’re disappointing everyone, those strings, like they sort of appear everywhere and then it just slowly takes over and then you can’t see anything anymore. It’s like you’re looking through a really narrow tube.”

This is the first installment in CPR’s series Teens Under Stress, a months-long examination of the pressureadolescents are under and what can be done about it. Click here to listen to the news report. 

-By Jenny Brundin

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