The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Normally, Malaina Taufa was vivacious and full of life. But as the COVID-19 pandemic began, and lockdowns hit her country of New Zealand, Taufa felt overwhelmed by everything.

Her four children were all at home, and Tuafa felt scared to go out in public. She lost confidence as her anxiousness and worries grew. 

She didn’t realize she had anxiety until her ward self-reliance specialist encouraged her to try the Church’s emotional resilience program.

“It wasn’t until I had sat in our emotional resilience course that I listened in on the experience of others and also the teachings of the gospel, little by little the anxieties started to break down slowly,” Taufa said.

More anxiety and anxiousness

Lauren Barnes, an associate professor in the Brigham Young University School of Family Life and a marriage and family therapist, said prevalence rates suggest that almost 1 in 5 adults experiences mental illness.

“Young adults, aged 18-25, have the highest prevalence rates of other adult age groups, at just over 25%,” she said. “Assume you know somebody struggling with mental illness; this isn’t just affecting somebody somewhere out there. It’s likely impacting somebody you know.”

Roy Bean, a marriage and family therapist and a Brigham Young University associate professor of marriage and family therapy, said anxiety is the most diagnosed, most regularly presenting issue when it comes to mental health.

“COVID aside … I would say anxiety has increased over the last 20 to 50 years, mostly because we live in a more stressful environment,” he said. Many people live closer to other people and don’t access the protective factor of nature; they have more technology but also more choices than ever before; they are overscheduled and constantly connected to information and news about the scary things happening around the world; they see posts on social media with which to compare themselves.

“And you’re never completely removed from your email and your text messages, your boss, your most annoying neighbor — they can always reach you,” said Bean. “We tend to get bombarded by things that are risk factors for us that 20 years ago we just weren’t bombarded by.”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.