By Michael Boucher, re-posted with permission from his Facebook page
About half of the people who consult me in my clinical work are under the age of 35 and their experiences resonate with what I hear from my own connections and relationships with a similar cohort.
Many report acute symptoms of anxiety and depression. Many feel a real sense of concern about the future. A lot express challenges in relationships, in part, because of the mental health issues that they and/or their partners face. Many say that they feel like they experience a crisis of meaning because so many institutions around them do not serve us well. Quite a few experience job dissatisfaction, in part, because they’re asking serious questions about what it all means…And this is all in a context of COVID – with all of those implications related to social isolation, fear of getting sick, attending to loved ones who are sick, etc.
At the same time, so many of these same young people are activists, educators, human service professionals, community organizers, artists and advocates. They work hard for human rights, environmental change, economic justice, racial equity, LGBTQIA+ rights and the list goes on. They live simply, recycle, thrift and work to create meaningful community in their midst. They strive to hold on to hope, engage their creativity, make music and art and invite us into our bodies and hearts.
I am just appreciating today, what a younger generation is shouldering on a day-to-day basis and what they as a cohort are holding for us all.
Mike Boucher is a counselor and community worker in Rochester, NY. He wishes to acknowledge that the land he lives and works on is unceded Seneca territory.