Students rating their emotional health revealed the lowest levels since the question was first asked 25 years ago according to a UCLA annual survey of more than 200,000 American college freshman.

The new study highlights the growing concern among educators and physicians about the mental health of American young people. “What it means is that going into college students are already feeling more stress and feeling more overwhelmed and have lower emotional reserves to deal with that stress,” said John H. Pryor, lead author of the report.

This new study is not a surprise to many researchers. A study published in 2000 in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that childhood anxiety has been steadily on the rise since the 1950s. Jean M. Twenge, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University who conducted the study concluded that, “the average American child (today) reports more anxiety than child psychiatric patients did in the 1950s.”

One year ago, I arrived in Los Angeles on a bright, sunny February day with a directive from the great film director David Lynch: Teach the Transcendental Meditation/Quiet Time Program at Children of the Night—a school/shelter dedicated to assisting homeless children and teens who have been involved in prostitution.

As a recent university graduate from the cold and pretty much “out-in-middle-of-nowhere” Iowa and a newly trained teacher of the TM technique, I will admit that I was a bit nervous. I had absolutely no clue what to expect when I arrived.

In fact, prior to learning about Children of the Night, I will admit I had no real clue that the problem of child prostitution even existed on such a large scale in the United States. I think most of us don’t, and if we do, we don’t want to believe that such horrific things could happen right here in our own backyard.

Record numbers of American soldiers are being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the start of the Iraq war—a debilitating syndrome which these men and women carry with them from the battlefield into civilian life.

But fortunately—and often with the prescription of their physicians—a growing number of these veterans are learning the Transcendental Meditation technique and finding an immediate and long-lasting healing relief from this terrible disorder.

The problem of PTSD among veterans has reached epidemic proportions—with an estimated half million soldiers and veterans suffering form of the syndrome, according to a recent report by the international news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP). Even more shocking, a greater of veterans and soldiers have died by suicide then in combat since the start of the Iraq war.