The Power of Preventive Care For Mental Health
Observances such as the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Day today help elevate this much needed dialogue. However, while these days are important, they also remind us to treat every day as a mental health day. People constantly face stressors, events and diagnoses that impact our overall well-being, a reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed, making it critical that our approach to preventing and caring for these mental health issues meets these needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new lens on how we think about mental well-being, as people have faced increased levels of loneliness, routine disruption and anxiety. In fact, 65% of Americans ages 18-34 have had concerns about their own mental health or that of household members, family or friends since the pandemic outbreak began. Yet, the study also found that nearly one in four of the same respondents are not confident in finding help to address these concerns.
Addressing loneliness is one way we can lower feelings of depression and anxiety before they even start. Bringing together communities that have faced similar experiences allows people to feel that they are not alone in the struggles they face.
One in eight emergency department visits are related to mental health or substance abuse, demonstrating missed opportunities to identify early signs of mental health concerns before they rise to an emergency. By proactively surrounding individuals with mental health resources, in their everyday lives and when interacting with the health care system, we can effectively spot early signs of mental health needs and direct people on the right path to well-being.
Preventive care is powerful, and we must not forget the influence it has on all aspects of our health, including our mental well-being. As the focus on the mental health of ourselves, loved ones and communities continues to rise, Aetna and CVS Health remain committed to ensuring that no one is alone on this journey and supporting our partner providers and companies across the country to do the same. Through this work, we can make progress toward improving mental health for our communities, workplaces and families.
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