Current mental health issues affecting our society

What would you think if I told you that there are over 300 students in Kosciusko who struggle with depression?

According to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi had the highest rate of depression in the entire United States. According to their findings, about 15% of Mississippians have experienced depression in the past year.

Most of the time we read these statistics and just gloss over them, but think about this for a minute. 15 percent of Mississippians suffer from depression. That means nearly 2,800 people in Attala County alone experience some form of depression each year.

Mental Health America, a nonprofit organization that promotes mental health awareness, recently ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia according to the prevalence of mental health problems. According to their findings, Mississippi ranked 50th, ahead of only Nevada. This ranking takes into account factors such as access to mental health providers, the number of citizens with alcohol and substance abuse disorders, the number of citizens with mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety, and other factors.

I didn’t know this statistic when I moved to Mississippi in 2009 as part of the Teach for America program. In fact, having grown up in Michigan all my life, I didn’t know much about Mississippi when I started teaching Algebra 1 at Greenwood High School. But after a few years of teaching, I grew to love Greenwood and now consider it my home. In 2013, I started working as a consultant in Greenwood because I wanted to find a way to make an impact in this community. For the past five years, I have been meeting with clients from all over the Mississippi Delta as they navigate the challenges of living in a fallen world.

Counseling is very confidential and so there can be some misunderstandings about what counseling is like or when people even seek counselling. I want this column to be a place where people can ask questions (anonymously, of course!) about counseling and mental health issues. From depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse, to stress, loneliness, work-related stress, marriage and family therapy, anger, grief, and more, people are struggling. .

And the truth is, many of us deal with these issues on a daily basis. Maybe you feel like you can’t get out of bed or you’re bored at work. Or maybe you watch your spouse, parent, child, friend, or co-worker struggle with depression or panic attacks every day. I hope this column is a place where people can start to see that those dealing with certain issues are not alone, and learn some practical tips on how to approach mental health issues. Currently, mental health in our country is rapidly becoming recognized as not only an important but also a long-neglected issue. Every time there is a mass shooting or we watch the news, we hear about horrific crimes. More and more celebrities are opening up about their struggles with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

So, please join me as I write about current mental health issues affecting our society. I plan to touch on some of the more common issues that counselors see, as well as practical tips on how to deal with things like anxiety, depression, or anger. I want to address some misconceptions about counseling and the associated fears or stigmas. I would like to give people a basic road map of common mental health issues, such as what depression or anxiety is, how to know if you or someone close to you is struggling with it, and what you can do to help someone. mental health problem.

Often we try to ignore these types of issues. We are ashamed of our struggles and think we are alone with them. We feel alone and have convinced ourselves that no one would accept us if they knew what we were really going through. Reading this column probably won’t take away your sadness, grief or anger, but I hope that by writing this column, people with mental health issues can begin to see that they are not as alone as they think and that we can do it together. all are starting to take steps to help our community.

Mischa McCray is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist in Greenwood. He can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.