PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Anxiety and depression are said to be some of the most common issues diagnosed and treated at the Life Management Center in Panama City.
“It’s not uncommon considering that people are staying in. Loneliness adds to the problem. Isolation adds to the problem,” President and CEO Ned Ailes said.
According to a recent report from https://quotewizard.com/health-insurance/therapy-and-counseling, Florida ranks in the top ten for biggest mental health changes since April 2020, coming in at number eight. Reports of anxiety and depression have gone up 12.7% since the pandemic began.
“In Bay County, it’s pretty similar. We’ve been seeing rising rates of persons who have come in presenting with anxiety and depression,” Ailes said.
Ailes said people are saying the pandemic triggers underlying issues. He adds it’s normal to feel anxious or sad under these circumstances.
“When it is severe though, those are probably not problems that were caused by the pandemic, but the pandemic certainly does add to the stress,” Ailes said.
Ailes said they see around 10,000 people come through the center each year, and more and more since Hurricane Michael. He says statistically one in four people will suffer from a mental illness. Ailes adds they see people of all ages come through the Life Management Center, including grade-aged students.
Bay District Schools Mental Health Counselor Ken Chisolm said they’re seeing the same rise in anxiety and depression trends in students now that they saw after Hurricane Michael. Chisolm said since the hurricane, they’ve added mental health teams to every Bay District School.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind the change that we have experienced, from the hurricane and now this pandemic, is extremely stressful and the result of stress is anxiety and depression,” said Chisolm.
Chilsom said they’ve received about 700 student referrals this school year for behavioral support services. He adds Bay District Schools offers both individual and group counseling sessions.
Ailes said the Life Management Center has crisis counselors available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Both said the most common thing they see is people just need someone to share their anxieties with. They add no matter your age or circumstance, if you need help, to ask.
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