Re-emersion into Social Dynamics Correlates with Increased Levels of Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults
CLAYTON, GA, July 23, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Data published by multiple health care organizations in recent months confirms what mental health practitioners are witnessing anecdotally during the pandemic: just as the sudden withdrawal of social interaction caused mental health stressors on our society’s youth, re-emersion into social dynamics is also causing increased levels of anxiety, depression and other related emotional trauma.
Most notably, there were increases in rates of weekly hospital visits for some mental health conditions in females aged 12-17 years, including eating and tic disorders in 2020 and depression, eating disorders, tic disorders and OCD in 2021 and anxiety, trauma, and stressor-related disorders, eating disorders, tic disorders and OCD in January 2022 (as compared to 2019). (“Pediatric Emergency Department Visits Associated with Mental Health Conditions Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January 2019–January 2022”; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, February 25, 2022, Centers for Disease Control)
Danielle Hava, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, explained, “In October of 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. We’re seeing it happen real time in our program. Parents are coming to us to say, ‘We need help for our child and our family.'”
“Some of the most common symptoms we’re seeing currently include anxiety, depression, academic difficulty, low self esteem, substance abuse, and more. We would like parents to understand that their child is far from alone and that these situations are occurring frequently as students return to school and other social settings. They are struggling to reestablish – or newly establish – friendships, social status, positions on sports teams or in other extracurricular activities. Failure, or perceived failure, can be devastating for some adolescents and even for young adults. Many need help in adjusting how they think about and approach social reintegration,” said Ms. Hava.
Blue Ridge’s Director of Business Development, Dana Williams, describes how the program works to address these challenges: “Each student’s path and challenges are unique. We customize a plan for each student and family to address their specific needs and desired outcomes. For some, transitioning away from pandemic restrictions is liberating, and many are celebrating. For others, there is a need to take the transition thoroughly and deliberately so that they can feel secure in their environment and confident in their position. Our goal is to help students and families understand why they are feeling the way they do, and most importantly, to know how to navigate towards positive, fulfilling and productive relationships within their families and for students in the context of their social community.”
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness combines comprehensive assessment and wilderness-based therapeutic interventions to teach students and their families skills necessary to understand themselves, their families and how to connect in meaningful ways. Since 2002, Blue Ridge’s licensed treatment program has provided sophisticated clinical treatment to adolescents and young adults (13-29) in an immersive nomadic wilderness model. Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness is dedicated to providing a high level of safety and connectivity to students and families through values exploration, milieu therapy, and individualized clinical attunement. Visit www.blueridgewilderness.com to learn more.
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