According to the CDC, the pandemic has increased the rate of anxiety and depression in children and young adults.
The White House announced $300 million would be allocated to expand access to mental health services in schools.
President Joe Biden passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to help schools hire more school-based mental health professionals.
“I urge every parent, to make sure your school, your school does just that, have the money. We can all play a part. Sign up to be a tutor or a mentor. Children were also struggling before the pandemic, bullying, violence, trauma, and the harms of social media.”
Biden says mental health is something that should be treated with care.
“And let’s get all Americans the mental health services they need. More people can turn for help and full parity between physical and mental health care if we treat it that way in our insurance.”
Founder of Telosity and Youth Mental Health Tech Investor Anish Srivastava says technology can give students access to mental health resources.
“For instance, if you meet a therapist once a month, what happens in between that time? And having an app for the child, for the parent, and the therapist provides additional touch points and educational resources that can be very helpful for all involved.”
He offers a judgment free app called Mind Right which specifically focuses on African American and Latin X communities.
“Their social workers and coaches come from backgrounds that are similar to those they are trying to support and the other benefit of Mind Right is that it’s supported by insurance and Medicaid so it’s acceptable to underserved communities as well.”
According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, black adults in the U.S. are more likely to report emotional distress.
For Motivational Speaker and Recording Artist Al Cherry, his mental health journey started at an early age.
He says, “The teenage years were a difficult time for me, and I found myself feeling very, very lonely and isolated and I didn’t have the best relationship with my parents at the time.”
Al Cherry is a two-time suicide survivor.
“But I was a drinking very heavily in middle school and in high school and really dealing with low self-esteem and depression and all of those things and family issues and it just kinda came to a head and I decided life wasn’t worth living and so I attempted to take my life.”
The love of his grandmother and his faith in God saved his life.
“In that moment, she became the arms and legs of Jesus and man, she just loved me at my lowest point and from there, it kinda gave me a little more drive and will to live.”
He speaks openly about his struggles through his music ministry.
“I love being on stage, doing concerts, and speaking engagements and so those are the two things that I had to find something that would put me in places of peace, and I had to learn how to talk, even when I didn’t want to.”
Al Cherry says regular therapy helps him manage his emotions.
“So, I would encourage anybody to make sure you find someone that you can talk to, that you can confide in, and then as well identify those areas that will give you, that do give you peace and then run to those as often as you can.”
In the next five years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will invest $1 billion in doubling the number of school counselors and social workers in schools.
With this funding, students who struggle with their mental health have access to online and in person resources.
For mental health support, visit mindright.io.