The Health and Wellness Center Allison Schuster | Courtesy

There have been more mass shootings than days in the U.S. so far in 2019.

Gun vio­lence takes the national spot­light fol­lowing each shooting. Sup­porters of the Second Amendment push back against gun control activists who blame the tragic deaths on lack­luster gun reg­u­lation. But behind each gun, there is a human being pulling the trigger.

Rates of anxiety and depression have grown expo­nen­tially in the last 20 years, par­tic­u­larly among the younger mil­len­nials and Gen-Zers. Feelings of des­per­ation, dis­tress, iso­lation, and hope­lessness seems more typical than hap­piness, con­tentement, and fel­lowship.

This gen­er­ation, driven by Instagram likes rather than real-life appre­ci­ation, and Facebook com­ments in place of in-person com­pli­ments, has replaced human inter­action and care with super­ficial com­munity.

When people live their lives staring at a phone, com­puter, or tablet screen, relying on any human inter­action to be through a device, they are likely to miss signs of emo­tional insta­bility in those around them. According to over 41 million health record data from Blue Cross Blue Shield, major depression is more common today than ever. After each shooting, people analyze the shooter’s behavior prior to the tragedy and point out signs that friends, family, and peers missed.

If we don’t log off our social media long enough to notice when those around us our strug­gling, mass shootings will con­tinue to rise. Mental illness is thriving in our tech­nology-crazed world, and it’s going to take genuine human care to help prevent it from spreading and help prevent mass shootings from taking over head­lines.

Stu­dents ought to put their mental health first and try to help when they see friends strug­gling. There are two coun­selors at the Health and Wellness Office as well as a Lindsay Pierce, the new director of recre­ational sports and student-athlete wellness, available to ensure student-ath­letes make time for both their physical and mental health.