• Kolby Kolibas

A Green Frog & The Tidal Wave on the Horizon


How does a green plush frog toy directly tie to the future of our children's mental health and the huge wave of instability forthcoming?

Yesterday I took the younger kids out to the local park by the house. As we were enjoying the sun and fresh air, a group of boys came over to greet us.


They mirrored two of my sons perfectly - ages 8 and 4. As they began to play I watched and wondered. Then I worried a bit.


There was a green stuffed frog that one of the boys had brought as a companion sitting on the play equipment. My 4 year old Max, grabbed the frog and gave it a hug.


I sprung into action like a Chuck Norris body double, snatching the “infected” assailant out of my son's hands.


And then it happened. Never mind my own agoraphobia and fear of touching some random kids toys at a neighborhood park.


I heard myself out loud say “son we need to put this down, we need to be safe from the Corona Virus….”


As the words came out of my mouth I realized something.

THE ACTUAL FROG


The youth right now are being impacted every single day. Where they go, what they watch, who they see, what they say….

There is a deep psychological wall being built up slowly, and we have no idea how that impact will play out in our current and future generations.


You can almost feel this wave of human emotion building. The more and more conversations I have, the more apparent the feeling I was experiencing is actualizing in the data.


Let me explain.


Our friends over at The Mighty recently published parts of a two month survey that included input from more than 70,000 people.


The data shares an interesting story. 62% say their mental health is worse than before the outbreak; 34% say it is the same, and 4% say it is better.

This chart lays out what’s happening pretty clearly.



The Washington Post lays out the evidence of this mental health crisis really well.


Nearly half the people in the United States feel the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a survey published Thursday that demonstrates how the covid-19 pandemic has escalated into a nationwide psychological trauma.


Three months into the coronavirus pandemic, the country is on the verge of another health crisis, with daily doses of death, isolation and fear generating widespread psychological trauma.


Federal agencies and experts warn that a historic wave of mental-health problems is approaching: depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.

Just as the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus caught hospitals unprepared, the United States’ mental-health system is even less prepared to handle this coming surge.




One thing is clear more than ever - people need the help you offer. They need a way to connect and a long term plan to help them through the current and future state of what’s to come.


How can you as a professional focused on mental and behavioral be prepared for this huge influx and need? What are you doing differently today to prepare for this increasing need for your services?


What you have done in the past, may in fact not work in the near future.

You as mental health innovators will represent a group of humble, perhaps unsung heroes in this crisis, and it’s through collaboration, urgency, optimism, and trust that we will get through this together.


It’s time for us to get to work—to help, heal, and harness the innovative potential inherent in crisis. You are not alone in this journey, and we are here to help.


Cheers,

Kolby

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