With another passing year, I look forward to what 2024 brings—especially because 2023 has been something else.
We’ve seen the economy struggle and incomes shrink. We’ve watched the political scene denigrate, all the while clinicians struggle with the challenges of working with people who often seem disconnected from their own lives.
Youth trauma seems to be rising, as we note in our primary article highlighting the challenges facing residential schools in the New England region. And staffing shortages don’t seem to be getting any better, as fewer people want to work for agencies and organizations where the salaries don’t seem to have changed much in the past decade.
The fact that our youth appear to be struggling more and more is a theme that runs throughout this issue. When we remember they have had to deal with a worldwide pandemic and the effects of losing an entire school year of learning, it’s no surprise. An entire generation will have to cope with the impact of this event, and they seem to be trying to do their best with the sometimes-limited resources available to them.
There are, however, a few silver linings. A new LGBTQ+ high school providing gender-affirming care is planning to open next year in western Massachusetts. We also highlight the League School of Autism’s neurodiversity project as well as a startup’s $20 million funding to help provide schools with virtual mental health service to assist in filling the treatment gaps. And New York has taken the lead in banning corporal punishment in private schools, something New England states have yet to do.
Here is to a better 2024. Happy New Year!