Tackling the Mental Health Crisis Together
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts agree, we were witnessing a mental health crisis in America and around the globe. The American people are exhausted, running on empty, and emotionally drained.
The Global Center for Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (GCMHAR) understands that mental health is more than just a social issue, but it can be a medical issue, legal issue, spiritual issue, and more. Because of this, we are partnering with the deans of Liberty University who are bringing their unique areas of expertise into the discussion about mental health.
Together, as we incorporate a Christian worldview into the topic, we can better tackle the mental health crisis spreading across the country and worldwide.
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine
The Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) addresses the many ways mental health impacts physical health. LUCOM Dean Joseph R. Johnson, DO, FACOOG is working with GCMHAR to bring a medical perspective to this complex topic.
Liberty University School of Law
The Liberty University School of Law is partnering with the GCMHAR to start conversations about the intersection of mental health and law in our society.
Joseph J. Martins, the Dean of the School of Law brings his expertise to this center to bring a legal perspective on this issue.
Liberty University School of Behavioral Sciences
The Liberty University School of Behavioral Sciences is a proud partner of the Global Center for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. Dean Kenyon C. Knapp, Ph.D. brings knowledge in counseling and psychology to contribute to conversations about mental health, addiction recovery, and related social issues.
Liberty University School of Divinity
The John W. Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University has partnered with us to bring a spiritual perspective to the complex topics we explore at the GCMHAR.
Dr. Troy W. Temple, the Dean of the School of Divinity, can share his expertise on the many ways in which religion and spirituality impact the mental health and addiction issues so prevalent in our current society.
Athletics, Sports Performance, and Psychology
As we partner with professionals in athletics, sports performance, and psychology, we gain their unique insight into mental health from their realm of focus and understanding.
Why the Global Center for Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Exists
This past year, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed that 45% of American adults reported a negative impact on their mental health due to stress and worry related to COVID-19*. In a survey from the CDC – during late June of 2020 – 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with the following:
- Anxiety/ Depression Symptoms – 31%
- Started or Increased Substance Use – 13%
- Trauma– 26%
- Seriously Considered Suicide – 11%
Other surveys reveal that respondents reported significant levels of stress due to financial concerns, struggling with emotional, relational, and well-being, feel less connected to family and friends, and avoiding small gatherings. A significant percentage of college students report being more depressed, anxious, and lonelier.
Bridging the Gap
What’s interesting is that many people will seek out a pastor, priest, or rabbi for guidance because they want their faith addressed as a part of the counseling process. However, 3 in 10 pastors say they are currently struggling with their own emotional well-being, while a quarter say they struggle with relational well-being**.
There is no doubt that mental health issues will be one, if not, the greatest challenge facing the Church and greater world community for years to come. Mental health impacts from lockdowns could persist for up to nine years. What’s even more alarming, however, is that there is a huge gap between those seeking help, hope, and encouragement, and the shortage of mental health providers available, especially those who will affirm faith and offer clinically excellent and distinctively Christian care.
Liberty University has the unique opportunity and ability to speak the grace and hope of Jesus Christ into these broken lives. Educational institutions and the Church worldwide must stand in the gap and help meet the need for such a time as this.
And the Liberty University Global Center for Mental Health, Addiction, and Recovery is here to help bridge the gap.
*”The impact of coronavirus on life in America.” Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2, 2020
**Barna Group. (2020, May 20). COVID-19 Conversations: Many Pastors Are Tired, Overwhelmed and Lonely. Barna. https://www.barna.com/research/covid-19-pastor-emotions/.