Combatting the Mental Health Epidemic: Jasmine’s Story
By now, many of us have heard that anxiety and depression are on the rise. Study after study has shown that many Americans, especially teens and young adults, are experiencing mental health issues at an unprecedented level. The latest federal data shows that half of adults ages 18-24 reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023*. In Missouri, 79,000 youth (ages 12-17) reported suffering from at least one major depressive episode so far this year**. This Mental Health Awareness month, LFCS would like to share with you a story of how our services are addressing this mental health emergency. Allow us to introduce you to Jasmine, a high school student who worked with an LFCS therapist to overcome her social anxiety.
Jasmine’s mother Kim began noticing that she seemed more withdrawn and irritable than normal. While many teens experience mood swings, these behaviors were a drastic shift from the cheerful, caring girl that Kim knew. She feared that something was wrong but couldn’t get Jasmine to share what was upsetting her. Desperate for help, Kim reached out to LFCS and Jasmine began meeting with her therapist, Lisa.
Throughout the sessions, Jasmine began slowly sharing with Lisa her experience with debilitating anxiety. Every day, whether at home, school, work, or with peers, she continuously questioned if she met the standards of others. She only judged her achievements and feelings of happiness based on the reactions of other people. Through her work with Lisa, Jasmine learned to find her own happiness, success, and satisfaction for herself, independent of the approval of anyone else. This realization allowed her to discover new ways of coping with her fears and learn skills to reduce her overall anxiety
The results were a great boost to her self-confidence and self-esteem. As Jasmine became willing to try new experiences at school and advocate for her needs, she began to feel more comfortable in her own shoes. Today, Jasmine says she has the tools necessary to express her needs and feel satisfaction with herself without external approval. Jasmine is now attending college and thriving in her campus life. She credits her relationship with Lisa as a turning point in her life and is forever grateful for the skills she has learned.
Jasmine’s story is perfect example of how LFCS Behavioral Health services can improve the lives of those struggling with their mental health. Evidence-based practices, emphasis on building strong relationships, and teaching skills that build sustainable success are why LFCS is known as the place to go when the children of Missouri need help. For more information on our Behavioral Health services, please visit lfcsmo.org/counseling.