The first volume our five volume series. We wrote this particular book because we all believe that to engage with anyone effectively, one must look to both the individual but also the community. To us, the notion of community can assume many quite diverse shapes. Community may well be who you consider it to be rather than what you consider it to be; it is shifting remarkably in its definition. This is probably quite a departure to what you may have read in the past about community, but we believe it to be true. For many millennials, community is now the Internet, group chats and chat room members (to name but three entities). These places are increasingly where millennials go to figure out their world.
Our aspiration is that this Series will facilitate readers to understand in a little more detail the dynamics of life as it is experienced, through providing a number of frameworks for conceptualization and practice. This volume is intended to open up the territory of life for millennials and adult people in their lives who care for them and about them.
This series is designed to be useful for: 1) the individual looking to enhance his/her knowledge about millennials and mental health 2) the interested professional who does not want to read purely theoretical material and 3) the parents, caregivers and friends who would like to better understand some of the issues facing teens and young adults in their lives today.
And, make no mistake; lives are complex for teens and millennials. The age of the Internet and ‘wearable technologies’ presents many challenges – some foreseen but, oh so many, not so. In all of this, millennials are trying to make sense of themselves and their lives and we are trying to make sense of them (that’s the older contributors in this book. We’ve also included some millennials for balance).
Every generation brings with it specific challenges and some people are more adept at change than others. There are multiple reasons why so many teens and young adults are self-harming, suiciding, having unhealthy relationships, feeling isolated and not understanding what it is to have a real friend, having difficulties communicating with peers, parents and professionals. Some of these themes are explored in this book.
The series itself is intended, therefore, not just to be ‘books to read’ but also as reference guides for practitioners, family support workers and mental health teams. Feel free to dip in and out of whatever chapter takes your fancy. We’re not precious about individual chapter ownership. We include essays on a range of topics that affect teens, young adults and their families. It aspires to be non-judgmental and attempts to be informative without boring the pants off our readers. We cite lots of eminent research and researchers in our various chapters (where we think it’s useful) but we also write from the heart, from experience, from the lesson of the greatest University of them all – life.