As I reflect on the last year while preparing for this new year, I have no doubt all of my schooling, all of my knowledge and every ounce of my skillset as a mental health professional was put to the test in 2020. Throughout the course of the pandemic, addiction and mental health services rose to an all-time high. The silver lining in all of this was those suffering were not feeling like they were alone in their battle because the world was going through it with them. Even celebrities and high-profile individuals were talking openly about their mental struggles and addictions in the news. Don’t get me wrong … we must still continue fighting the stigma of mental illness and addiction but regardless, there’s been a shift in society and for this I am very grateful.
I encourage you, regardless of the promise of a cure or even a new year, to continue to check in with your tribe of loved ones asking those necessary mental health questions while reassuring them it’s coming from a place of love and concern. Remind them there is no shame in seeking therapy and/or acknowledging distress. Help is here for all who are willing to receive.
Twenty-one has been my favorite number as far back as I remember. I’m excited and optimistic 2021 will be a favorite year for all of us. We move forward into 2021 with so much love and support that you can’t help but fall into the best year possible. Here’s to thriving, not just surviving in 2021. If you need us, we are here for you!
Dr. James Flowers