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New Sacramento treatment center opens to address pandemic-induced mental health crisis

Nearly a third of Californian adults say they have felt anxious or depressed. The new Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center in Sacramento was opened to address the need.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — According to research, nearly a third of Californian adults said they recently felt anxious or depressed. This group admitted to needing treatment but not getting it. The new Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center in Sacramento was opened in response to this need. 

Sacramento resident Joanna Nolen went for treatment for her eating disorder, but it wasn't until she started getting help that she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. 

"I was just mentally exhausted of living this life that I felt a prisoner of, in my own body, in my own head," Nolen said. "You know I had thought that depression was somebody sitting in a corner isolating themselves, not wanting to be around people, maybe being very sad. For me, I feel like I have functioning depression and I may appear bubbly and outgoing on the outside. On the inside, you know I am just dying inside."

She learned coping skills that she said helped her get through the pandemic when continuing treatment wasn't as accessible. 

"I probably wouldn't have gotten to where I'm at today without that assistance, without that help," Nolen said. 

The center's clinical director Cory Adams said the idea is to build a foundation for recovery through self-help skills and therapies. It's a more intensive approach to treatment. Patients can utilize multi-levels of care from outpatient to even partial hospitalization.

"I think it's gonna take a while for the community to be able to bounce back. Especially some of our adolescents that have had almost a two-year break from their norms, from their peers, from their schooling, from their extracurricular activities like sports. Right now, with the increased inflation in the community, people are really sensing a lot of financial difficulties that they hadn't in the past," Adams said. "Even something like filling up your gas tank right now is kind of a stressor."

He said he believes conversation is key. He recommends those struggling should have more vulnerable conversations with themselves and their loved ones, which could aid in getting quality help. 

Watch more on ABC10

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