As we have mentioned throughout our blog entries, there are quite a few issues that Expat Teens tend to be faced with as a function of their roles, both as Expats, as well as Teenagers. We have reflected on some of those issues, but want to take it a bit further with this entry by informing you of some statistics of sensitive issues that are impacting Teens worldwide. Many of you may read these statistics and think “this is not relevant to me”, or “this couldn’t happen to me.”If you think that, you aren’t the only one who does…however, evidence indicates that thinking that way can be dangerous. Just ask those who said “this couldn’t happen to me”…and then it did. This entry is not supposed to be a scare tactic. It is a reality check, and is also a way to let those of you who have dealt with these issues know that there is a resource that you can turn to for support – Expat Teens Talk. So be informed, be safe, and TALK to us and let us know what is on your mind…
• Teen Depression:
– 1/5 of teens will have depression before age 18;
– 20-50% of teens with depression have a family history of depression or other mental health problems;
– 30% of those with depression also have substance abuse problems.
• Teen Suicide: 2nd leading cause of death among teens 15-19 y.o.
• Teen Substance Abuse:
– Teenagers turn to cigarettes and alcohol for the same reasons: curiosity, boredom, as a way to forget their problems;
– Girls and boys may start drinking because of a lack of communication, support, and monitoring from parents.
• Teen Pregnancy and Sexuality:
– One in every ten births worldwide is to a mother who is still a child herself;
– Homosexual teens are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to use alcohol or other drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviors, or run away from home.
• Teen STI’s:
– 1/5 of people living with HIV are living in Asia and infection rates are increasing quickly;
-- People aged 15-24 accounted for approx. 45% of new HIV infections worldwide in 2007
Please be safe and make good decisions - your life depends on it...