Today is World Mental Health Day and we have all been affected in some way or another due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adolescents have been especially impacted as this year has brought unprecedented changes to their social, emotional and academic lives. Students have had to adapt to online learning with little contact with teachers and friends let alone missing out on sports, dances and other school functions that create a safe environment for children to grow. The pandemic only made matters worse for teens struggling with substance use and addiction issues, creating even greater isolation where the disease of addiction lives and thrives in thousands of lives.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And now, billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a further impact on people’s mental health. Yet, relatively few people around the world have access to quality mental health services. In low- and middle-income countries, more than 75% of people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all.
It’s no surprise ARCH Academy has seen an increase this past year in teens needing addiction treatment who also present with co-occurring mental health issues including anxiety and depression. ARCH’s primary goal is to treat the whole individual both mind, body and spirit with the use of 12-step philosophy combined with evidenced based clinical interventions, experiential therapy and a licensed accredited private high school; All specifically designed for the developmental needs of the adolescent male. Kids need to be kids. Especially in today’s world where one can turn on the TV or open their phones to arguments, negativity, oppression or unrealistic images of life and self. Having a space to open up, be heard, communicate honestly and discover who you are is of upmost importance for our younger generations. Creating an environment conducive to this is ARCH Academy’s specialty and area of focus.
Tragically, many young people in the world cannot and do not experience the hope and healing that is offered through so many excellent treatment programs. Furthermore, access to adequate therapy will decrease due to COVID-19. This is just the beginning and, if organizations and mental health workers struggle to receive the support they need, our system will be dominated by people who need help vs. people who can offer it.
This year, The World Health Organization created events for all of us to come together and show support for our own mental health and the mental health of our families, friends and children. According to WHO, these events will take steps towards putting in place employee wellness programs; as governments, to commit to establishing or scaling-up mental health services; and as journalists, to explain what more can and must be done to make mental health care a reality for everyone. Other key events include:
October 9, 2020: United for Global Mental Health: The 24-hour March for Mental Health
October 10, 2020: WHO: The Big Event for Mental Health
For more information about these events please visit The World Health Organization website.
If you or someone you know are struggling with substance abuse please give ARCH Academy a call at (844) ARCH-ORG or visit our website at www.arch.org.
About the Author:
Cole Szabo is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC I) and Admissions and Outreach Coordinator for ARCH Academy.