Pediatricians handle the front lines of mental health problems

Matt Richtel spoke to teens and their parents about this series

In mid-April, I was talking to the mother of a teenage suicide victim, with whom I had been following closely. I asked how her daughter was doing.

Well, the mother said: “If we can’t find a hard way to help this baby, this baby won’t be here for long.” She begins to cry. “We try everything,” he said.

He added: “It’s like waiting for the end.”

In almost 18 months of storytelling, I met many young people and their families and interviewed many doctors, therapists and adolescent scientists. I heard the heartbreaking news of the pain and uncertainty. From the outset, I discussed with my editors the best way to identify those who are suffering.

The Times sets high barriers for providing anonymous sources; The type of document we call the “last resort” for situations where important information cannot be published in any other way. Often, those sources may pose a threat to their operations or even their safety, either by a paying official or an opposition government.

In this case, the need for anonymity has several components: protecting the privacy of young, vulnerable young people. They have injured themselves and tried to kill themselves, and some are afraid to try again. In reporting them, we should keep in mind that our primary responsibility is for their safety.

If The Times published teen names, they could easily have been identified years later. Would that undermine their employment? Will a teenager – a small child – later regret having revealed who he or she is during pain and struggle? Seeing this published report will the unrest continue?

As a result, some teens are identified from the very beginning only; Some parents are known by their first or last name. Within a few months, I got to know M, J, C, and Kentucky, and I became acquainted with a group of hardworking teenagers whom I discovered only through their ages, 12, 13 and 15 In some cases, we did not publish the exact location of the families.

Each person I interviewed gave his or her own consent, and parents were often present for the interview with young people. Occasionally, a parent asks them to leave the room, or a boy asks for a solitary confinement, and his parents agree.

In these stories, I felt sad, confused and looking for answers. The voices of teenagers and their parents, since anonymity protects them, deepen the understanding of this mental health problem.

Pediatricians handle the front lines of mental health problems

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