In this month’s mentoring minute, we’ll be taking a closer look at the impact of stress in today’s students, and how we can help them deal with it in a positive way.

Stress has always been a part of life. But, the number of students who believe that stress is a major component of their lives has increased dramatically in the last several years. A recent poll found that 45% of teens feel stressed “all the time,” compared to just 12.18% who are “rarely” stressed, and 6.3% who are “never” stressed. As mentors, we have a unique opportunity to bring hope and perspective into the lives of our students. Recently, a professor at Duke University had this to say about the role of a caring adult in helping students deal with stress in a positive way:

“We don’t give as much attention to stress, maybe because all of us experience anxiety in one way, shape or form. But when it rises to a level where it interferes with daily functioning, it becomes a problem. It’s so important for teens to have at least one trusted adult in their circle that they can talk to and determine if this is a blip or something more severe.” – Robin H. Gurwitch, Ph.D

As mentors, we need to be aware of the difference between normal, everyday stress and more severe toxic stress in our students’ lives. Check back next week as we continue to explore the impact of stress in today’s students and how we can understand and help them deal with it in a positive way.

-Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach