JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mental health conditions are one the rise, and mental health advocates say that’s not the only thing that’s trending in the wrong direction.
Studies show more people are experiencing anxiety and depression than ever before, with people waiting to be seen by a therapist for as long as a month.
Kandi Jackson and her team work with clients statewide, but they also want to make sure that people, especially on Jacksonville’s Northside, get the mental health care that they need.
Jackson, a licensed clinical social worker and mental health therapist, serves clients at Restoration Counseling and Support Services on Dunn Avenue.
“I have had a passion for helping people pretty much my entire life,” she said.
Jackson founded the practice to help people struggling with their mental health, after working as a social worker for more than a decade.
“Mental health is if not, as important, more important than our physical, emotional and other health,” she said. “Just like we go to our primary care doctor once a year to get a check-up to make sure that we’re doing well, mental health is just as important.”
Statistics from Mental Health America show 21% of adults are experiencing at least one mental illness. That’s roughly 50 million people. And 55% of adults with a mental illness haven’t received any treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says 40% of Americans reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2020 compared to just 11% in 2019.
“Mental health has become something that is widely talked about more now that people are experiencing a lot of stress and strain, especially from the pandemic,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s practice works with children as young as 8, as well as teens and adults to help with anxiety and depression.
She also works with veterans through a partnership with the VA.
“Meeting with a therapist provides a neutral person, who is able to help and guide you, hopefully, help you achieve the goals that you have identified for yourself,” Jackson said.
While there’s still some stigma surrounding mental health, Jackson said therapy is becoming more normalized and she hopes that her team can help people.
“I tell my clients that you are the pilot, I’m just the copilot. I’m here to support you on this journey. We work together to help them meet or try to accomplish their goals,” she said.
Restoration Counseling and Support Services is accepting new clients. If you need help when it comes to your mental health, you can contact them here.