Today my wish is for access to the world’s biggest microphone.

As a mother, I have a message I want to share with every adult who interacts with young people and children.

Too many children and young people are struggling mightily to survive each day. Too many are self-harming. Too many are fighting depression and anxiety. Too many are engaging in risky behaviors. Too many are ending their lives.

The pain of these too many children and young people is so great that they have become exceptionally talented in masking it from the world.

While I’m not a psychologist, a social worker or expert of any kind when it comes to children, other than being a mother whom no one will ever feel compelled to bestow with accolades, I beg you to not brush off and ignore our children and our young people. What you may interpret as an intolerable youth may very well be their desperate cry for help.

FullSizeRender-63As adults and parents it is our duty and privilege to check-in with our young people to understand what pain they may be masking. Then quickly identifying the necessary help and support they may need.

This generation is too important, too intelligent and too creative for any adult to mistake a young person’s behavior as petulant and indifferent rather than the tortured mask it may very well be. A mask when removed revealing debilitating pain. A mask hiding the SOS flag they so desperately want the adults in their life to notice.

Take a moment to slow down and sincerely engage with the young people in your life. You can make a difference. You may even save a life.

I implore you.