The overall mental health of Americans leaves a lot to be desired. Most aberrant child, teen and adult behavior can be traced back to low emotional intelligence – the lack of the skills to manage one’s own reactions and relationships to others in a healthy way.
Years of studies show that most of the bleak statistics below – plus those of crime, divorce and business partnership feuds – will improve dramatically for the next generations if we start now to make EQ-raising Social-Emotional Learning a priority in all our schools.
Doing so can also affect the current situation because comprehensive EQ programs at their smartest also engage parents and non-teaching staff, as well as students and teachers. And the sooner emotional intelligence and EQ are household terms and a societal goal, the faster adult training in EQ skills will be adopted by other major sectors and institutions. Businesses are already moving in that direction – and a huge amount of more growth is possible.
Here are some of the current pains EQ skills would mitigate if there were mass adoption:
✤ Violence: 10 million children annual victims of domestic violence while 22% of students in 2015 reported bullying. 12 million domestic partners in U.S. annually experience violence. U.S.: highest murder and violent assault rates of all advanced countries.
✤ Sexual Abuse: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in U.S. sexually abused before age 18. 325,000 women raped a year. 1/6 of American women are raped in their lifetimes.
✤ Self-Harm: 1 in 4 teenage girls and 19% of overall 14-year-old girls and boys self-harm. Rates of self-injury among teens were highest (above 20%) in Idaho, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Nevada.
✤ Mental Health: 3 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode in 2017. As of 2015, suicide was second leading cause of death for ages 15-34. Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – 43.8 million – experience mental illness in a given year. 1 in 6 Americans take psychiatric drugs, 80% of them long-term.
✤ Drug Usage: 58.2% of HS seniors reported they drink, and 34.9% used marijuana. 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs – or 1 in every 10 over the age of 12 . $740 billion annually in related costs due to crime, lost work productivity and health care.
✤ Workplace: 48% of American adults report experiencing abusive behavior at work. Billions lost to workplace stress, conflict and trauma.
✤ Global Survival: In the 72 years of Nuclear Weapons, there have been two killing bombs – Hiroshima and Nagasaki – four near accidental nuclear wars because machines misread machines, and two near deliberate nuclear wars – Cuba Missile Crisis and India-Pakistan.
*Statistics based on reports from the Center For Disease Control and the Departments of Health and Human Resources and Education.
How about lack of overall emotional intelligence – the lack of skills for healthy relationships with self and others?