In the United States, serious mental disorders impact around 20% of youth aged 13–18 during their lifetime, while for children aged 8–15, the estimate is about 13%. Troublingly, around 70% of youth in U.S. juvenile justice systems possess at least one mental health condition, and a minimum of 20% live with a severe mental illness.
Also, in the U.S., almost one in five adults, or close to 51 million people, experience some form of mental illness each year.
However, these figures may have increased due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other societal factors. It’s crucial to consult the most recent reports or databases for up-to-date information. Mental health remains an ongoing concern globally and needs continuous attention, research, and resources.
Defining Public Health Crisis: Murthy views mental health as the defining public health crisis of our time, considering it as the fuel that enables us to engage with our communities, friends, family, and lives. He argues that when mental health is compromised, it affects our ability to be our best selves and function effectively in work or school.
Worsening Trends: Compared to other generations, the current situation has worsened. Increased hospitalizations and suicide rates are not just about improved detection or increased willingness to discuss mental health issues. There’s a real increase in pain and despair among the youth.
Causes of the Crisis: The crisis is driven by factors such as loneliness and isolation, bullying (both offline and online), and the constant influx of information that often stokes fear and anxiety. Young people’s apprehension about the future, especially given the lack of effective solutions to pressing threats like violence, racism, and climate change, also contributes to the issue.
Role of Social Media: Social media platforms, while offering avenues for connection and exploration, are also contributing to the crisis. These platforms often make young people feel worse about themselves, negatively impact their friendships, and can be addictive. Time spent on social media often takes away from sleep, exercise, in-person interactions, schoolwork, and other joy-inducing activities.
Impact of Values on Mental Health: The values that guide us as a society play a crucial role in mental health. Young people often feel trapped in a “hustle culture,” pursuing goals that may not lead to their happiness or fulfillment. This necessitates a reevaluation of societal values and a shift towards those that prioritize mental well-being.
Loneliness as a Health Risk: Loneliness isn’t just an unpleasant emotion; it’s a serious health risk. It’s associated with an increased risk of various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. The risk posed by social disconnection is comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, exceeding the risks associated with obesity and physical inactivity.
Impact on Society: Beyond individual health, a lack of social connection can harm societal structures like schools, workplaces, and civic organizations, where it can decrease performance, productivity, and engagement.
Need for Investment: Given the severe implications of loneliness and isolation, it’s imperative to invest in addressing social connection, much like efforts addressing tobacco use, obesity, and addiction.
Building a More Connected Society: The Surgeon General’s Advisory outlines the need to build a more connected society to prevent further societal division and isolation. This will require efforts from individuals, families, schools, workplaces, health care and public health systems, technology companies, governments, faith organizations, and communities.
Power of Relationships: Individuals can begin enhancing social connection in their own lives by strengthening their relationships. Simple actions like answering a phone call from a friend, sharing a meal, or providing service to others can foster human connection and contribute to healthier, more productive, and fulfilling lives.
The shortage of mental health practitioners is a pressing issue worldwide, and particularly in underserved communities in the USA, and Low-to-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) across the globe.
In the United States, communities of color often face a lack of culturally competent mental health care. This lack is compounded by systemic barriers like stigma, language differences, and inadequate insurance coverage.
Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that mental health services are not adequately resourced in most LMICs. There is a significant gap between the need for mental health treatment and its provision, often referred to as the “mental health treatment gap.” In many LMICs, this gap exceeds 75% for serious conditions like depression and anxiety disorders.
The shortage of mental health professionals exacerbates these issues. Solutions may include strengthening mental health training programs, incentivizing practitioners to serve in underserved areas, integrating mental health services into primary care settings, and harnessing technology to provide telehealth services.
The need for mental health workers is urgent and pressing, with an additional 1.7 million professionals required in low- and middle-income countries alone.
This stark imbalance in mental health resources is a clarion call for immediate action. Together, let’s bridge this gap and ensure that no one is denied the mental health support they need.
GCSCORED, Inc.’s Response
The research and practice regarding social-emotional learning has increasingly taken center stage in academic settings across the USA and the world. As with many curriculum and programming best practices, communities of color, marginalized, invisible, voiceless communities,under-resourced schools and communities are often excluded in the research designs and curriculum development and implementation.Therefore, these communities and the lived experiences of their students, educators, administrators, families and other school stakeholders are excluded from curriculum design, implementation and instruction.
Why GCSCORED Exists
“As air is to life, so are social-emotional competencies to relationships, they are like the air we breathe” Dr. Yvonne Murray-Larrier, 2017.
Every moment of every day, we are engaging in relationships with ourselves and with others. Just as we need air to breathe so we can live, similarly we need social-emotional skills so we can establish and maintain relationships.
The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, Mental Health of America, and Mental Health Innovation Networks, along with many other organizations, have sounded the alarm on the global mental health crisis that impacts all of us.
GCSCORED has heard the alarm and its response is to:
- increase access to, educate, equip and empower individuals
- locally and globally in diverse settings
- to become conscious problem solvers and empowered life coaches
- as they acquire healthy social-emotional MARKERS™ (Mindsets, Activities, Relationships, Knowledge, Emotions, Resources and Skills/Strategies)
Unfortunately, too many people across the globe do not have access to treatment and therefore do not receive any. We’re in a global mental health crisis. The resources required to address these conditions are inadequate, unequally distributed, inefficiently used and static.
These issues are the ones that drive the work of GCSCORED.
GCSCORED, Inc.’s Response
GCSCORED has developed the following:
- The Cultivating SEEDS System Framework (CSS®).
- The RUMERTIME Process®, a scalable, culturally responsive problem-solving prevention and intervention strategy.
- The Journal of Global Engagement and Transformation® (JGET), a transdisciplinary practitioner-scholar open access online journal.
- The RUMERTIME Family Summer Camp®.
- The Access RUMERTIME Conversations® Podcast.
- The Access RUMERTIME Conversations® Facebook Community.
7. Access RUMERTIME Community Conversations®.
8. Access RUMERTIME Conversations® “Down to the Roots” Blog.
9. RUMERTIME Immersion Experiences® (Workshops, etc.).
10. Social-Emotional First Aid® (SEFA®)Training
11. The Institute for Social Emotional Education® (ISEE)
12. Listening Oasis Wellness Space® (LOWS) 1833-427-5697
13. The CSS® Shop (Books, Curricula, Games, Activities).
Individuals can rumerize 24/7/365 for all types of life events. However, in the initial stages of incorporating this process into one’s gardening tool bag, people tend to rumerize more when a triggering event occurs in their life and activates negative thinking, acting and feeling patterns. They interrupt this pattern of negativity as they: Recognize, Understand, Manage, Express and Reflect on their Thoughts, Interactions, Mindsets and Emotions while they relate to the triggering event.