Areas across North Texas have seen a recent increase in the demand for mental health resources, according to the Regional Director of Counseling at Connections Wellness Group, Catherine Richardson. Richardson, who is also a licensed professional counselor, spoke to NBC 5 on June 16 about the spike in demand.
Richardson explained that younger generations are seeking mental health resources and helping end the stigma around it. She added that the rise in demand has been seen in young people and all demographics.
According to Richardson, discussions between younger and older generations have helped break down generational divides.
“They’re talking to their parents about it and their grandparents and their aunts and their uncles, and that’s actually opening up very interesting conversations that are happening in the Black community of, ‘oh, wait, you went through this?’ ‘Yeah, your grandmother struggled with depression.’ It is creating a really, really helpful and good conversation amongst our communities because we need to talk about those things,” she said.
Children can also benefit from mental health resources, according to NBC 5, in order to help them process traumatic events. This could be something they saw in person or on television.
Richardson explained that parents should not ask children why they are crying but should try different approaches instead.
“Your role in that is just to help them stay regulated, help them to stay calm, comfort them and then post that, that’s when you have the conversation. So, a better question instead of ‘Why are you crying?’ is ‘What came up for you in that moment,’” she told NBC 5. “… we need to pay a lot of attention to our kid’s interests, the messages that they’re taking in about themselves, about the world around them… They’re already carrying around a lot of stress, a lot of just underlying microaggressions that maybe other kids aren’t dealing with.”
Richardson told NBC 5 that there has been progress made for mental health resources, but there are still issues to be addressed. This includes representation, the cost of resources, and accessibility.
She added that practitioners should be working to be more accessible.
Richardson told NBC 5, “I think that that is on practitioners to be really creative in offering virtual appointments, in creating offices that are in neighborhoods that maybe people wouldn’t typically go to, offering sliding scales, offering maybe vouchers or services for people who don’t have insurance or who are not all the way insured.”