A global pandemic forced us to change the way we live and interact as we were told to stay at home and help prevent the spread of the covid-19 disease. Lives were taken, businesses were closed, and social interaction was blocked, not to mention the likes of massive wildfires or calls for social justice reforms that caused additional uproar.
The impact of the last year and beyond has had serious repercussions on our wellbeing and mental health. In particular, it has highlighted how important it is to be taught good mental health from an early age, with so many of us having no real concept or experience in dealing with such high-pressure, stressful scenarios, should they arise in our lifetime.
Here is why there is a growing demand for mental health educators and clinicians in Colorado, and how you can be a part of the solution:
- Coloradans are seeking mental health help following a very difficult year
41% of adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic, compared to only 11% of adults in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Many major mental health centres are now providing more services due to this growing demand. There is little doubt that the events during the pandemic have led to such a large increase in calls for help, but there is also the issue of a prolonged need for assistance.
Rather than people coming into centres and leaving, Coloradans are dealing with ongoing stress that requires longer term action, and crisis calls to centres are far higher than they were a year ago.
- There are not enough mental health professionals to service the demand
Currently Colorado is experiencing a shortage of mental health educators and clinicians.
There are many cases where those with insurance cannot find a provider. They will call all of the options in their health plan and find that nobody is taking on new patients. Waitlists are increasing and have been reported to range from around 60 to 90 days based on the circumstance of the individual. For some, that timeframe can even go so far as 8-12 months.
While there are hotlines that can provide immediate help, such as the Colorado Crisis Service, longer-term assistance and guidance is currently difficult to sustain.
- Roles within mental health, especially within schools, are available and sought-after
With not enough trained professionals to cope with the demand, it is a timely reminder that this industry needs more resourcing, more financial backing and that good mental health protocol should be taught from a young age.
Schools are now actively seeking out behavior interventionists and technicians, speech language pathologists and psychologists to help educate younger children on dealing with all manners of mental health issues as they grow and begin to experience the world.
The impact of the pandemic has been just as difficult for younger children as it has for adults. For those of an older age, mental health may not have been part of the curriculum framework, and it is only over the past decade that the importance of good mental health is being prioritized as a learning material.
What does future of mental health education and services look like, what can we do now, and what roles are available?
One of the plus points over the past year has been the development of technology. Online tools are making it easier for trained professionals to provide help to those who most need it. Alongside this, Colorado lawmakers are trying to provide more resources for behavioral health by introducing a number of new bills.
For those who are experiencing mental health issues currently, it is important to seek help. Speak to your health plan provider, reach out to private providers, or call crisis service hotlines. Help is out there.
For those who want to help and are trained educators or clinicians, you can reach your potential and find the best role to meet your lifestyle and ambition through TherapyTravelers.
Travel contracts. Local contracts. Full-time. Part-time. Short-term. Long-term. Whatever you may be looking for in a therapist position, we’ve got you covered. TherapyTravelers places the finest Educators and Clinicians on both local and travel assignments in school districts all over the United States. Learn more via the website: https://therapytravelers.com/
Therapy Travelers family is made up of Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, Social Workers, School Nurses, Special Education Teachers, BCBAs, and Behavior Interventionists who work in school districts throughout the United States.
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