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Big changes may be needed, but consistent small steps will get us there

The news about people’s mental health and well-being today is dark and somber.

Reports show that the numbers of people experiencing mental health challenges continue to increase, straining a system already stretched thin.

The nation’s surgeon general has issued an advisory about the state of mental health in young people to attempt to highlight the depth of the problem and the serious threat it poses to our children’s well-being.

Mental Health America’s most recent report on the state of mental health in the U.S. shows nearly 50 million adult Americans, or close to 20%, experienced a mental illness in 2019.

And, a survey of more than 1,000 therapists by the New York Times, showed nearly all are at, or beyond, capacity for taking on new patients and are facing their own burnout from the increased need.

At times like this, when we are overwhelmed at the rising tide of need before us, it helps to have a way to move forward, to do even one small thing to change the momentum.

We are not helpless and though it can, at times, feel hopeless, even taking one or two baby steps toward a solution can help create a shift individually and collectively.

For anyone experiencing pain, grief, anxiety or feelings of wanting to harm themselves, one small step could be reaching out to someone to talk about what you’re feeling and experiencing.

If you don’t have a trusted friend or family member, or would prefer to talk with someone you don’t know personally, then Samaritans Southcoast is a place where you can find a caring and compassionate listener to talk to. Simply call 866-508-HELP (4357).

For those who have the capacity currently to be compassionate in the face of someone else’s pain and who want to make a difference in others’ lives, then Samaritans’ volunteer training on Jan. 20th may be your next step.

For 2.5 hours a week, you could give the gift of listening to another.

For more information on the training and requirements, email or call Christine Rizza at or 508-679-9777 ext. 11.

Please help us by sharing this blog post. You never know who might need it.


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