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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Cross-Generational Talk Urged to Tackle Gen Z's Mental-Health Worries

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Monday, August 14, 2023   

One doctor of behavioral health and licensed professional counselor in Arizona said he has found 'Gen Zers,' those born after 1996, are not only talking more about mental health, but also seeking more mental health care compared with other generations.

Research has shown Gen Z has reported feeling double the amount of emotional distress compared to millennials and more than triple the levels reported by baby boomers.

Dr. Sabit Bojaj, clinical director for Community Bridges, said "exposure to world problems at a very young age have greatly contributed to emotional deregulation." He added while Gen Z is more willing to talk about mental health, they are struggling to find and afford care.

"They feel really lost in the world, and it is because there is that huge barrier that the world is moving so fast, things are changing so fast our brain doesn't have the capacity," Bojaj explained. "But also, our policies and procedures and everything we do within the health care system is not changing as fast."

For those who are part of Gen Z and have already started working, Bojaj strongly encourages them to check their health insurance plans to see if they have mental health care benefits. For those still in school, he pointed out many institutions offer free resources which many times go underutilized.

He added it is important to remember it may take time to find the right counselor or therapist.

Dr. Donald Tavakoli, national medical director of behavioral health for UnitedHealthcare, said it is important to realize physical health and mental health are intertwined. He recognized Gen Z has gone through adolescence and young adulthood during what he sees as an interesting time.

"While we know that rates of mental illness were on the rise among adolescents and young adults, the COVID pandemic certainly had an impact, a disruption on social experiences," Tavakoli observed.

Tavakoli pointed out many Gen Z folks, even up to age 26, can maintain coverage on certain plans through their parents' health insurance, giving them some time to transition.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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