Our youth need adults to step up

Our youth need our help. They need our time, our talents, our creativity, our attention, our resources.

Let’s give it to them.

The Kauai Resilience Project is leading the way to curb suicide among young people. Last year, one in 11 Kauai teens attempted suicide. That is and should be an alarming number.

KRP has come up with a plan, but its success depends largely on adults making sacrifices and stepping up when they are needed, and they are needed now.

Here’s why.

There are factors that build resilience in children and resilience is key in curbing suicide. Some of these 40 factors include extracurricular activities, youth empowerment and setting boundaries.

“Adult support, whether from family, a teacher, a neighbor, etc., is one of the most critical factors to help young people grow into healthy, caring and responsible individuals,” according to Keiki to Career Kauai, which helped create KRP.

KRP has launched an education campaign to raise awareness of these resilience factors targeted to both adults and youth.

“We want to share the message that Kauai’s kids are all our kids, and every one of us can contribute to this effort,” said Marion Paul, president of Kauai Planning and Action Alliance.

That’s something we can all support.

In case you’re not convinced we should be concerned about teens and need to have an action plan to do anything, consider a few of these findings in the 2018 Kauai Youth Report put together by Kauai to Career Kauai:

• 28 percent of high school reported feeling sad and worthless for at least two weeks at a time in 2017. Yes, most people go through ups and downs, but when more than a quarter of our teens say they feel worthless, that’s not something we should easily dismiss.

• Students who report that they like coming to school has decreased from 70 percent to 50 percent in the last four years.

• Proficiency tests given at the end of eighth grade reveal that our students have been losing ground in math and science.

• Youth that are overweight or obese continues to rise, from 24 percent in 2014 to 30 percent today. Currently, more than one half of our youth do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity.

• Screen Time tracks the percentage of students who spend more than five hours per weekday on their “screens” (TV, video games, texting, etc.). The current rate on Kauai is 33.5 percent. That’s too much.

• More than 5,200 of Kauai’s 10,500 students in public and charter schools are considered Title 1 students who come from low-income homes, where basic necessities such as shelter, healthcare and even food are often challenging to obtain. Title 1 students face additional challenges to learning due to poor sleep, untreated medical conditions, hunger and the general heightened insecurity posed by the lack of basic sources.

• One of every four Kauai high school students reports having been bullied, either physically, verbally or electronically. Bullying is a risk factor for youth suicide and it is something that goes on far too often.

• One of four Kauai high school students is at increased risk for drug or alcohol abuse.

• One third of Kauai high school students have had sexual intercourse. This is higher than stateside, but lower than national averages. Even in middle school, one in 14 Kauai students have had sexual intercourse.

• Over the last five years, Kauai averaged 10 births per year to young women age 14 to 17. This is a birth rate of six per 1,000.

The statistics are alarming. Yes, you could argue, this is pretty much the story nationwide, pretty much the norm, so what’s the big fuss?

Just this. It doesn’t have to be like this. Each of these areas of concern could be improved if adults could commit to being part of the solution. And it’s easier than you might think.

That’s why we urge people to be part of this project. To find out how, visit www.kauaiskidsareyourkids.com

  1. Jill Faye April 2, 2019 5:00 am Reply

    I’m in and want to totally be involved.

  2. Jill Faye April 2, 2019 5:04 am Reply

    Please contact me I am in. I want to be a big supporter 212-4000 jill@islandhomestv.com

  3. Want to help April 2, 2019 7:32 am Reply

    Would love to help. The web address does not work.

  4. Would like to help April 2, 2019 8:11 am Reply

    Link does not work. Would like to help.

  5. gordon oswald April 2, 2019 9:04 am Reply

    Impressive idea to have the adults step up. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough adults left in our society with the mental toughness, honesty, and character to provide the harsh truth our youth need to hear and understand from an early age. “Life is tough and you better compete, lose, feel disappointment, be bullied, fight, get up again, and continue over and over again to fight for what is right every day!” Eventually our “entitled” youth enter High School and finally figure out that life is extremely difficult for everyone, including them! You basically lied by leading them down the primrose path, and then they are “forced” to get tough over night without the tools to do so? We protected and entitled them since they were born? This is the same group of so called “adults” you’re imploring to “step up”? The adults who decided every child needs a trophy, boys and girls should use the bathroom that makes them “feel” better, life isn’t that precious because you can kill it in the womb at any time (even when it’s partially born), if you even mention anyone’s fat you’re a bully, and transvestites should be entering our schools for reading time to the little ones for hell’s sake. It’s our youth you “politically correct hippies and progressives” brought up, and it’s our youth who will suffer the most because of it!

  6. charles chimknee April 2, 2019 6:42 pm Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Little kids, youth, teens, adults, seniors, and the aged…all have bodies, brains, emotions, nervous systems, relationships and appetites and need for food…but never in the history of mankind has any of these people especially in the last 100 years, and more and more so in these last 50 years, and way more now in the last 20 years…have they been so exposed to so many chemicals…man made, factory made, laboratory invented, made from synthetic substances, and chemicals made horribly so from crude oil (think oil wells fueling motored vehicles, gasoline and oil; and also chemicals made from coal tar (think coal mines)…the latter 2 sources clearly carcinogenic cancer causing.

    But all these chemicals, they are made into everything, making fake everything, from plastics, clothes, food, vitamins, colors, flavors, aromas, fake additives to fake food and animals and fake fish, preservatives, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, microbe-cides…all these fake chemicals and death, causing “ ‘cides”…and you complain about sui-cide…? These deadly chemicals go hand in hand with suicide and cancer.

    People are the Guinea pigs…for chemical experimentation…for the chemical companies;and look what is happening, failure to adapt physically and mentally to the new manufactured world of chemicals surrounding us in the air, water, and land…manifesting as human physical and mental disease problems.

    You can’t separate an environmental chemical epidemic from a human mental and physical epidemic. Cancer and suicide leads to the same thing…an early loss of human beings…loved ones…! ! !

    Think outside the box…this knew plague on earth is a money making get rich quick scam by “who could care less” corporations raking in profit like never before, converting chemicals into anything.

    Food formerly produced by farmers but now food is made on factory farms dependent on chemicals whereby single tractors till thousands of acres of land, plant the seeds, and repeatedly apply chemical fertilizers, and Agriculture poisons with a tractor that is driven by computer and directed by Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) like ships at sea and intercontinental airlines…no need drivers, but only overseers on board to monitor when something goes wrong.

    And who monitors you when something goes wrong…the chemical pill dealer does, and off you go hippity hop to the pharmacy to get your dose of poison.

    And food…that looks like food, but no longer contains nutrition…but wait you get worthless fake petrochemical vitamins added later…and you wonder why youth have broken thoughts locked inside their Broken Poisoned Brains hell bent on suicide, depression, sadness, no energy, like a poisoned cockroach waiting to die. No more excitement for a bright future…dimmed by drugs and chemicals on every shelf of almost every store.

    We’ve slowly allowed corporate America and Europe to poison the air, land, and sea…so how do we reverse it…chemicals are ubiquitous = they are everywhere; and our people are suffering everywhere.

    Get sick and the petrochemical pharmaceutical medical disease care industry has “ chemical pills for every ill” dealers there to give you more toxic and poisonous chemicals…and you are bewildered that people try suicide, some with success. Wake up…!!! You are lost in a deep rut you can’t see out of and you are blinded by blind faith in those and that, that have been lying to you for the 30 pieces of silver.

    An inherent problem allowing this disaster is the accumulation of Blind Faith in too many things…you can name yours, but belief in drugs from the pill doctors has reached Blind Faith Bankruptcy and it’s time to retire them and their outdated disease system.

    Next time the white coat and stethoscope hands you a prescription, refuse it…ask for the cause of your problem and how to remove the cause, or avoid it, or prevent it. If they insist on a prescription you are with a drug distributor…find yourself a real doctor.

    Get Well…not drugs…!!!

    Most people do not even know what wellness is nor how to find it, or restore it, or maintain it; nor do they know what the definition of Health is…how can you find what you don’t know what you are looking for…?

    We deserve better…! ! ! Demand it…don’t accept 4th rate disease care. Make doctors work for a living…keeping you healthy without drugs and not needing drugs.



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