Faced with a growing adolescent mental health crisis, this episode of Menninger’s Mind Dive podcast examines youth loneliness and its implications in a post-pandemic world.  
Generation Z faces an unprecedented battle with isolation and escalating rates of depression and anxiety, as well as a worrisome increase in suicide.  
Guest Eugene Beresin, MD, MA, shines a light on the Surgeon General's call for expanded youth mental health services across the nation, emphasizing the necessity for enhanced access to care, the promise of telehealth and the integration of support within schools and communities.  
A professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Beresin's expertise has been monumental in shaping school's curriculum and the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds as both organizations deal with the ramifications of this societal epidemic and the urgent strategies needed for intervention.  
“Public health education saves millions of lives ... think about the role of public health education campaigns about secondhand smoke, seat belts and car seats,” Dr. Beresin said. “But there has never been a major public mental health campaign in this country. It is absolutely critical for prevention, early intervention and for de-stigmatization of mental illness.”   
The conversation turns to the startling statistic that half of psychiatric disorders commence by age 14, underscoring a dire need for parental and caregiver education. Dr. Beresin weighs in on the hurdles of securing affordable mental health care, the provider shortage crisis and the innovative approaches like peer counseling that could pave the way forward. He also highlights the dangers of online misinformation, particularly regarding sensitive issues like eating disorders and body image.  
Ultimately, Dr. Beresin notes that the responsibility lies not only with healthcare professionals but also society at large to cultivate an environment where mental health is prioritized and where the stigma surrounding it is dismantled for progress to be made.   
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