Liberty University launches first Global Center for Mental, Addiction, and Recovery

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

FILE-This Tuesday March 24, 2020 file photo shows s sign that marks an entrance to Liberty University as students were welcomed back to the campus during the coronavirus outbreak in Lynchburg, Va. Liberty University has profited from the COVID-19 pandemic by refusing to refund thousands of dollars in room and board and other fees owed to students after the school moved classes online last month, a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges. (AP Photo/Steve Helber,File)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Liberty University is launching the first of its kind Global Center for Mental Health, Addiction, and Recovery.

This center will combine academic departments and multiple campus resources to work together on strategic partnerships and alliances that advance research and provide education, training, advocacy and services.

“The vision and mission statement of this global center is to collaboratively interlink all the schools and bring this wealth of information together, because mental health touches everywhere,” said Dr. Tim Clinton, who will serve as the executive director. “Why wouldn’t an institution like Liberty step back and look at all these issues and challenges? With our already state-of-the-art resources across our disciplines, we can make a collective effort to demonstrate and defend why we’re committed to our Christian beliefs when it comes to mental health.”

This center comes at a particularly relevant time.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States was already in the midst of a massive mental health crisis. Issues like depression, stress and anxiety, abuse, personality, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, addiction, and others had caused a surge of hopelessness in our culture, and now the current pandemic and its related societal and relational issues have only taken it a step further,” said Clinton.

According to the Census Bureau, 33 percent of Americans are showing signs of clinical depression or anxiety. Data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that 45 percent of American adults reported a negative impact on their mental health due to stress and worry to COVID-19.

The National Alliance on Mental Health reported that 450 million people worldwide are living with a mental illness and nearly one in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness. Nearly 60 percent of adults living with mental health conditions went untreated in the previous year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that national suicide rates increased 33 percent from 1999 to 2019.

Liberty University released the board of advisors that will help lend their expertise to the new initiative.

  • Tim Clinton, Ed.D, LPC, LMFT; Executive Director
  • Ron Hawkins, Ed.D., D.Min. LPC; Associate Director
  • Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
  • Darryl and Tracy Strawberry, Th.D., Strawberry Ministries
  • Cathy Hendrick Weeks, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist
  • Matt Stanford, PhD; CEO of Hope and Healing Center & Institute
  • Harold Koenig, MD; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University
  • Everett Worthington Jr., PhD; Professor Emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Lon Lynn, D.O.; Medical Director of Clinical Research of West Florida, Inc.
  • Jack Graham, D.Min., PowerPoint Ministries and Prestonwood Baptist Church
  • Jentezen Franklin, Senior Pastor of Free Chapel Church
  • Greg Jantz, Ph.D.; Founder of The Center: A Place of Hope
  • Janet Parshall; In the Market with Janet Parshall
  • Craig Parshall, J.D.; Special Counsel for the Law and Justice
  • Herb & Dona Fisher, James Dobson Family Institute Board of Directors 

For more information on the center, visit Liberty University’s website.

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