LYNCHBURG, Va. – Horizon Behavioral Health said it’s no secret – dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on students and their mental health.
“We’re seeing a lot more anxiety in young children; whereas with the older children and teens, it’s a little bit more externalizing their feelings, and that’s coming out in more forms of aggression such as bullying and things like that,” said Januwaa Davis, Prevention Services Program Manager for Horizon Behavioral Health.
A 2020 study shows an increase in Lynchburg High School students feeling sadness and hopelessness over the past five years.
“There are so many messages that our young people are receiving that aren’t positive, and so our goal is to insert hope into the community,” said Davis.
Horizon’s helping the community bounce back through a new campaign. They’re handing out free yard signs with positive messages, as well as medication lock boxes and gun locks.
Health experts said they served more than 500 students in Lynchburg and its surrounding counties during the 2021-2022 school year.
Now, they’re looking to encourage more students to remain resilient.
“Messages of hope and the ability to connect to those supportive environments are really important,” said Davis.
If you need help, you can call 434-477-5000.
Yard Signs, free medication lock boxes, medication disposal bags, gun locks, and additional resiliency resources can be picked up at one of Horizon’s Wellness Centers across our region from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to the following schedule: