September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens, and experts are fearing the worst as young adults prepare to face unknown challenges that the return of school may bring – from coping with varying curricula, stressing over grades, and continued social isolation from friends and trusted teachers.
I have suffered from depression since I was about 12 years old. My husband has anxiety. At least two of my daughters experience anxiety and/or depression. We know that mental health issues can be hereditary. My parents and grandparents and my husband’s family members surely were affected and never diagnosed.
We have lived all over. I made it my goal to raise Global children.
We experienced Hawaii for three years, which is very like a foreign country. We as a white family were very much a minority there and loved learning about the history and culture.
We lived in Germany for three years, and were lucky to travel all over Europe to learn and experience the history and culture.
We experienced culture shock when we settled in Dayton, Ohio, three years ago. It’s still hard sometimes to fit in.
The pandemic quarantine hasn’t really affected our family like many others since our lifestyle is very simple, minimalist, and self-sufficient. But there are times that it’s still hard.
In her book Raising Global Teens, Dr. Anisha Abraham analyzes key subjects facing today’s teens, in the context of our modern, mobile world.
How can we help cross-cultural teens stay happy, healthy, and balanced particularly in a time of uncertainty and a global pandemic?
- Stop Comparing – Reminding teens that no one is perfect. Everyone is “uneven”, meaning they excel in some areas, but not others, and that is OK.
- Time Management – Encouraging teens to set goals, prioritize tasks, break large assignments into smaller steps, work for designated time periods and take breaks, and use a reminder system for deadlines.
- Unwinding – Making sure teens take time to fill their “anti-stress toolbox” with healthy ways to unwind. This could be as simple as talking to trusted friends or watching a funny show.
- Mind & Body Care – Ensuring teens are getting adequate sleep, eating well, and exercising to regulate mood and energy levels.
- Resilience – Supporting teens during these times of uncertainty and helping them to build resilience and get “bounce”
- Conversations – Having important conversations with teens about challenging topics such as pubertal changes, sexting, vaping, planning for the future and more
- Signs of Depression & Suicide Risk – Understanding warning signs which include: mood swings, withdrawal, poor sleeping or appetite, trouble with memory and concentration, talking or writing about suicide, and giving away belongings.
- Getting Help – Knowing when and where to get professional support if you believe your teen is depressed or suicidal
Globalization has given many of us unparalleled opportunities to work, travel, fall in love, and raise kids all over the world. But it has made being a teen more complicated than ever. Imagine having to discover your identity and place in the world when you keep having to move communities, your parents are from different backgrounds, you’re exposed to multiple cultures daily or faced with challenges such as global warming and pandemics. How can we help these teens be happy, healthy, and resilient.
Raising Global Teens explores the hot topics adolescents experience today: identity, social media, body image, traumatic events, puberty, drugs and stress all in the context of our modern, mobile world. In this easy-to-read handbook, Dr. Anisha combines real-world examples with practical solutions, drawing on the latest research, her own experience and that of the many cross-cultural teens she has worked with over the last 25 years. Raising Global Teens enables busy families, health providers, and educators apply powerful tools to help today’s adolescents thrive.
About the Author
Dr. Anisha Abraham, MD, MPH is a board certified pediatrician and adolescent health specialist with 25 years of global experience. She treats and counsels young people with a variety of issues including social media use, drug use and stress. As a recognized educator, she provides training on adolescent health and wellness to faculty, teens and parents. Her clinical and research work combined with her experience with cultures and transition is the basis for her passion and interest in making the lives of global teens better.
She completed her medical degree at Boston University in a 7-year BA/MD program, her pediatric residency at Walter Reed Hospital, a fellowship in adolescent medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC and a Masters in Public Health at George Washington University. During her career, she has served in a variety of roles including as Chief of Adolescent Medicine, a Lt Colonel in the US Army, and Medical Director of a school-based clinic. She has been on faculty at the University of Amsterdam, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.
She knows what it’s like to face an ever-changing social landscape. She grew up in the United States as the daughter of South Asian immigrants and has lived with her husband and two kids in Asia, Europe and the US over the last ten years. She understands the challenges of moving from place to place with a family and experiencing different communities. Teens need tools and strategies to handle life’s challenges, to be resilient and to thrive in today’s fast paced environment. As a physician, educator, and parent, she helps teens to discover their strengths, focus on their wellbeing, and successfully navigate a changing world.
Preorder Raising Global Teens: A Practical Handbook for Parenting in the 21st Century by Dr. Anisha Abraham