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End-of-year data raises mental health concerns

Mental Health Medication prescriptions in Arkansas saw the third highest raise nationwide in...
Mental Health Medication prescriptions in Arkansas saw the third highest raise nationwide in the past year.(KAIT)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:38 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:35 PM EST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - In 2021, the state of Arkansas saw a 34% increase in the number of people that have a prescription for mental health medication.

It is a number that therapist CaSandra Patterson says does not surprise her.

“I am not surprised because there are more people are that struggling,” said Patterson.” You know our bodies are made for short times of stress, extra stress and this is prolonged, and that is what has happened during the pandemic.”

She believes COVID is part of the reason the number has jumped so high. Mental health therapist Shelby Day agrees that COVID is an issue but stresses there are more factors.

“With COVID and all of the severe weather we have had in this area over the past year, I understand why people have anxiety and stress,” said Day.

Patterson says that the number of prescriptions is a result of adults but the reason it is so high might be due to more children struggling.

“You know they had things at school that were important to them like social activities, sporting activities, band, and things like that and they had to stop those things that they loved,” said Patterson.

Both therapists stressed the same thing, there is always help. They mentioned the fact that not enough people come forward when they are struggling and it’s important to know that someone is there for you.

“Just focus on the things you can control,” said Day. “With all the negative going around, we forget to focus on the positives and the good things we have in our life.”

Arkansas’ 34% increase was third nationwide is a statistic that the therapists hope will decrease in the next year.

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