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When children are denied their basic needs, a host of mental health concerns can follow. These issues can affect a person long into young adulthood. According to a study that was published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, adolescents who have experienced food insecurities within the last year have a higher rate of mental health concerns. Children who worry about where their next meal is coming from or who face challenges in receiving adequate amounts of food on a regular basis are at a greater risk of developing mental health issues.

In 2012 alone, one in five children were suffering from food insecurity in America. While a portion of these children were homeless, many lived in stable homes that simply did not have enough income coming in to provide consistent meals for the family. The effects of this issue are far- reaching and can influence people for many years, even when they are no longer lacking food.

According to the study in the journal, even one incidence of food insecurity can cause an increased risk of mental health concerns by 14%. This is a number the government is taking a strong look at to determine what can be done to overcome this epidemic in America so children never have to go hungry or worry where their next meal will come from.

Food insecurity can lead to mental health conditions such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Substance abuse

Young adults who have suffered from food insecurity as children often do not realize their mental health disorders are arising from this issue. Often, this matter is coupled with poverty and a lack of education which can cause a young adult to be limited in their ability to cope with life. It is crucial young adults facing these issues have access to intervention strategies through therapy, substance abuse treatment, and counseling so they can receive the treatment they need for overcoming their mental health constraints.

At the Crossroads helps young adults who are dealing with mental and emotional turmoil due to food insecurities or other issues. Often, these young adults simply need therapy to help them learn to adjust to life’s challenges without turning to negative behaviors that could lead them to destruction. Our program seeks to change the mindset of troubled young adults and give them the tools they need so they can become self sufficient adults who are ready to live their lives to the fullest.

ATC’s transitional independent living facility is like no other and has successfully helped hundreds of struggling young adults to realize their full potential. Located in beautiful Southern Utah, our facility offers the backdrop of healing only nature can provide. Through our residential therapy program, based on the four pathways to change, young adults are given the tools they need to overcome their emotional turmoil and find true freedom.

Related Article: 1 in 5 Young Adults has a Personality Disorder

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