Kudos and many heartfelt thanks to all who played a role in bringing Collin Kartchner to our community two weeks ago! As a parent, community member, and physician, it breaks my heart to observe the epidemic of depression, anxiety, and suicide that has plagued our community and nation for more than a decade now.
Rather than throwing up our hands and pretending we have no clue what is ravaging our young people, we were invited to take a good hard look at the smart phones in our own hands. No one need extol the virtues of these marvels of modern technology; we all know how they have transformed our lives for the better. What we have ignored as a society are the dangers these tools present to unsuspecting youth and parents.
Collin helped students and parents alike to understand how smart phones and social media affect the developing brain. We rightly restrict youth from owning firearms because the adolescent brain lacks the insight, judgment, and restraint that are essential to their safe unsupervised usage. Yet we do not think twice about putting in our children’s unsupervised hands on tools that can be just as dangerous, as research has clearly demonstrated. Whether we choose to provide these tools to our children, Collin shared highly effective strategies for protecting them and strengthening our relationships with them.
If we have to bring someone like Collin back every week in order to save the life of my child or yours, I say it’s worth every penny we pay him. We don’t need any more vigils, and we shouldn’t have to raise nearly an entire generation on chemical antidepressants. Thank you every one of you who contributed to Collin’s visit and invited all students and the community to attend.
Very well done!
— Ray Andrew, MD