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Over the past year, COVID-19 has been top of mind for many people, as it should be. However, another pandemic has coincided with COVID-19 — the mental health pandemic.
It has been a year with seemingly insurmountable changes for individuals, families and businesses. As a result, the need for mental health services has increased.
As I reflect on challenges facing our youth prior to COVID-19, we saw many adolescents with anxiety and depression, with much of it attributed to overscheduling, peer pressure, academic achievement or bullying.
Today, we still see a lot of anxiety and depression, but there are even more contributing factors due to COVID-19. Our youth are feeling isolated, worried and stifled. Many continue to struggle with academic achievement and finding motivation to learn.
For adolescents, this would normally be a time to learn how to socially connect with others, explore new interests through activities at and outside of school, meet adults who can help mentor them and begin preparing for life after high school.
But COVID-19 has taken away these typical pathways for our youth to gain these skills. Many adolescents have struggled with remote learning. They don’t know the other kids in their class. They find it hard to engage in discussion. They are distracted by other issues occurring in their house.
Although many kids are back to school five days a week, the constant change from the past year is still impacting their emotional well-being. It has been hard for freshman who may not have had an opportunity to meet other freshmen. It has been hard for seniors who have missed out on typical high school traditions. It has been hard for athletes who haven’t been able to play their sports or have seen their seasons dramatically altered.
As a result, the physical, social and emotional well-being of many of our children is being affected.
However, there is help to address their depression, anxiety, school refusal, trauma, substance abuse or other mental health crises.
Linden Oaks Behavioral Health provides a navigation service to assist individuals seeking mental health resources. Learn more or call 630-305-5027 to get next steps, which may include a free behavioral health assessment, or a referral to Linden Oaks Medical Group or another community provider.
If needed, Linden Oaks offers several options of professional mental health services based on the severity of the individual’s situation. Learn more.
If you or a loved one need help, you are not alone. Linden Oaks is only a phone call or click away.
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