Monday, April 09, 2007

Influential People

Okay I have said it before -- I am a sucker for the "USA Today Snapshots" charts/bar graphs that the USA Today newspaper publishes on a variety of topics -- so they caught me reading one today!!

Source of Polling Results: Harrisinteractive , Trends and Tudes

Question: "Kids ages 10 to 18 were asked who they would talk to if they thought they were depressed" . The results were --

A Friend -- 57% of respondents
Parents/Family -- 49%
Doctor -- 42%
Counselor/Therapist -- 42%
Another Adult -- 26%

Upon seeing these results several thoughts entered my mind including:

  • Instead of using the generic "Another Adult" why didn't Harris add one or two more descriptive categories?
  • Since this was report was published the day after Easter Sunday I really have to wonder why children did not cite "Pastor/Priest" as someone to talk to? Have America's youth become far more secular than their parents?
  • Beyond religion that most glaring omission from my perspective is that of "Teacher/Coach". Since our public school system consumes nearly 50% of every state government budget and given that teachers spend more time with our nation's children during the week than their own parents do why is it that teachers are not considered to be a resource for children who face a crisis? However I do understand why "coaches" aren't such a resource -- it is because physical education/gym classes have been phased out in many schools across the country with only 33% of students enrolled in gym classes (as of 2005 - http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-08-23-phys-ed_x.htm).

Based on these results it would suggest that peer-to-peer counseling programs appear to be worth our support. Such programs don't need more government funding via our schools -- we just need to get our children involved in worthwhile programs like the Boy Scouts of America.

But the "war on Boy Scouts" is the subject for another posting.

Todd

1 comment:

jdsqrd said...

Don't forget the Girl Scouts. Can't have mental health without them there cookies.