Maryland’s Health Department is sending a youth resource guide to state and community health partners to help young people battling mental health and substance abuse issues related to the ongoing pandemic.
The state’s Behavioral Health Administration guide provides an expansive and evolving list of behavioral health resources for Maryland youth, including for mental health, suicide prevention, grief and loss support and substance use issues.
Studies show 1 in 3 people nationally reported depression and anxiety due to the pandemic and nearly half of 18- to 29-year-olds were among them, according to Maryland Health Department news release.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 13% of people have either begun or stepped up their existing substance use to handle stress.
According to data from the group Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients, Maryland itself saw a 15% jump in drug overdoses between April and September last year.
“This pandemic has been life altering for everyone, but especially for young people whose education, social growth and life plans have been largely put on hold,” said MDH Acting Secretary Dennis R. Schrader.
“We believe Maryland’s youth are resilient and adaptable, but they need support and we want to ensure they have access to the appropriate resources.”
The guide specifies tips for self-care, ways to recognize if someone is experiencing a crisis, signs that someone may be thinking about suicide, and how to get immediate help.
“While all Marylanders are encouraged to seek support before they reach a crisis point, resource awareness for young people is especially important because they are often less likely to recognize when they should ask for help,” said BHA Deputy Secretary Dr. Aliya Jones.
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