During a year in which physical health was in the forefront of our national consciousness, mental wellness became a significant concern for many Americans. Mental Health America, our national affiliate, reported a 200% increase in mental health screens from 2019. Screens for anxiety and depression also overtook pre-pandemic levels, with a 234% and 185% increase respectively. While this data reveals COVID-19 undeniably affected the way we view mental health, it also shows that people are taking steps to achieve mental wellness.
At the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, we recognize the correlation between physical and mental health. Our programs and services are grounded in the understanding that signs of emotional distress should be responded to in the same way as physical changes in our bodies, so we have taken steps to address the increased need for mental health services on the local level:
- We adopted telehealth into our programming for existing clients to mitigate disruption to treatment and ensure continued recovery;
- We recruited 70+ volunteer clinicians to provide up to six free emotional support sessions for Monmouth County residents negatively impacted by the pandemic;
- And we hosted multiple webinars to address critical vulnerabilities, including trauma-informed approaches for educators, strategies for parents and guardians of high school students engaged in remote learning, maintaining financial wellness, and vaccination information for our community.
In such an unprecedented and challenging public health environment, your ongoing support allowed our team to provide quality programs and expand our outreach. We are extraordinarily grateful.
We have all experienced some form of trauma during this pandemic, and we remain committed to serving our community to ensure mental wellness remains our priority.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected.
Wendy DePedro, MSEd
President & CEO