During 2016 I can't tell you how many times I have heard the question "Whats the point?" I am sad to say that it is accompanied by other questions like " Why am I even here?" and " Why bother getting out of bed?". When I hear students of 15 years old asking these questions I get the distinct impression that it isn't really a question, but more of a statement for the simple reason that if they cant figure it out how could anybody else claim to have figured it out.
I have noticed over the last several years more and more teenagers winding up in some kind of treatment facility for depression or addiction. In most cases the treatment itself costs an arm and a leg and in my opinion has very little effect or change in a teenager. In 2016 alone I have been directly and indirectly involved in 10 teenagers that were admitted for various issues. This number might seem trivial however this number is 10 lives that are halted from being able to reach their potential. It is 10 lives that affect their friends lives and in more ways than one the effects are negative. I also want to point out that there are a number of teenagers who are not fortunate enough to be admitted to these treatment centres as not all parents can afford it. This means that there are a growing number of teenagers that have adopted the thinking of "What is the point?' and it is going unnoticed.
I have had the opportunity to sit with teenagers over the year to try and understand what it is that we can do to change this situation. Here are a few of my observations:
During our chats I have picked up a few common threads.
During 2017 we have launched our them for the year.
" # I Have Purpose"
This is our way of answering those questions that I mentioned in the beginning. It became very clear to me that everyone needs direction including me. We need a vision and goals. If we don't have something to look forward to then what is the point of life. I also recognise the value in structure and routine.
Not only do we want to share this with our students, but our parents and staff. Over the course of the year we will be dealing with four main aspects to our theme: