Lyttleston Street mental health event addresses depression, anxiety

CAMDEN—Because of the soaring rates of depression and anxiety in this country today, Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church recently held mental health workshops for youth and adults.

The workshops were held Feb. 21 and 28. Using Mark 5:1-20, participants looked at how Jesus addressed the demons of the man named Legion. Breaking the story down by “character” and participating in role playing, youth and adults saw how this story relates to today’s world.

Two professionals were on hand to provide information such as warning signs, healthy coping skills, telephone numbers and phone apps that can be used to not only assess their mental state, but to use in the event they, or someone they know, needs emergency help.

Dr. Steve Shugart and Elizabeth Sharpe Creed led the workshops.

Here are some of the staggering statistics from U.S. Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health America that led Lyttleton Street to act:

  • In late June 2020, 40 percent of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.
  • One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
  • Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24.
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S. and the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • 13.84 percent of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • Childhood depression is more likely to persist into adulthood if gone untreated.
  • The number of youth experiencing a major depressive episode increased by 206,000 from last year’s dataset.
  • According to a recent report from The Journal of the American Medical Association, more than two in five U.S. residents report struggling with mental or behavioral health issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including anxiety, depression, increased substance use and suicidal thoughts, according to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Markedly elevated prevalences of reported adverse mental and behavioral health conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the broad impact of the pandemic and the need to prevent and treat these conditions,” the report noted.

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