Earlier this month, federal prosecutors charged dozens of wealthy parents, including prominent figures in law, business and Hollywood, with bribing college coaches and testing administrators to help get their children admitted to elite colleges.
The scandal introduced the wider world to some truly brazen examples of corruption, such as doctoring athletic photos to pass kids off as champion rowers/sailers/water polo players, etc., and paying a 30-something Harvard alumnus to take the SAT for high school students.
It also underscores the hyper-competitive nature of today’s college admissions process, in which many institutions boast record high application volume and record low acceptance rates.
Fear about grades, SAT scores and getting into the right school contributes significantly to teenage stress, which the Pew Research Center reports is on the rise.
But academic angst is but one reason high schoolers today grapple with anxiety and depression.
The Pew study found that teens (29 percent) feel pressure to look good, to fit in socially (28 percent), and to excel at sports (21 percent).
School guidance counselors surmise that social media exacerbates self-esteem issues, as students compare their lives to their peers’ filtered “highlight reels” around the clock.
Of course, stress is not unique to any demographic:
Many millennials, who entered the workforce during a recession, resulting in a significant hit to their lifelong earning potential, feel crippled by student-loan debt.
Gen X, aka “the Sandwich Generation,” contends with the dual challenges of raising children and caring for ailing parents.
Health struggles and worries about financial security post retirement plague Baby Boomers.
The potential perils of untreated stress are myriad. Among them: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia and suicide. Stress costs American businesses more than $300 billion annually.
To draw attention to the epidemic, health care professionals have declared April Stress Awareness Month.
Stress Awareness Month presents a timely opportunity for you to promote flowers.
Anecdotally, we all know flowers reduce stress and boost feelings of well-being. But there’s plenty of scientific proof too. Organizations, including the Society of American Florists, American Floral Endowment and America In Bloom, have shared research findings supporting plants’ and flowers’ therapeutic properties.
Over the next 4.5 weeks, take advantage of these resources and use them in your floral marketing.
Note: if you are an SAF member, you can find template social media posts and promotional ideas at http://safnow.org/stressless/.