Book of Interest—Beneath the Surface

Can you hear them?

We watch young people, like the survivors of the Parkland shooting, mobilize in an attempt to turn that tragedy into action that makes the world a better place. Many of us wonder where they find the will and how they got so savvy about the global world that is watching. Those of us who came of age during the transformative Sixties understand that their message—so clearly constructed, so well communicated, so completely energized—hits a wall that didn’t exist when the call for change went out over fifty years ago. As a society, we are becoming numb to the legitimate out cries of others. There is so much social “noise” now, and many of us seek refuge from the suffering of others because we have reached injustice burn out.

In a lot of ways the younger generations today are on their own. (More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.) I don’t mean any disrespect for parents and parental authority figures who are in the trenches doing everything they know to do to help. But the truth is that Millennials and Gen Z’ers are charting new territory and, past a certain point, the best we can do is cheer them on. When these young people hit a personal wall and feel like they can’t go on, however, there is a lot that we can do and Kristi Hugstad has delineated those things as well as anybody ever has.

It was the suicide of her husband that led Hugstad into the darkness of despair that is severe depression. Her personal experience infuses every sentence she writes in this book. She also includes the voices of teens telling their own stories. The end product is clear, bare bones communication regarding the why and how of overwhelming mental anguish. While she asks readers to look at the truth of what is going on, she offers substantial, real-world actions that anyone can take to make things better. This is a book that can help teens find their way out of the deep woods and help the adults who care about them learn compassionate listening that contributes rather than shuts down. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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