Nearly one-fifth of U.S. workers rate their mental health as fair or poor. Generalized across the U.S. workforce, this results in missed work estimated to cost the economy $47.6 billion annually in lost productivity. Although many people and organizations do not treat it as such, mental health is as important as physical health and needs more resources to make sure people are supported so they can cope on a daily basis. If people are not given access to sufficient mental health resources, they will continue to suffer and cost society significantly.
Global mental health has been negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic. As many predicted and feared, we have seen significant increases in anxiety and depression and anxiety. Mental health suffered during COVID for a number of reasons, including increased isolation, stress and focus on health and illness. Unfortunately, leading mental health are increasingly pointing out that very little has actually been undertaken to address what they expect to be a mental health crisis. Unless the global community and the respective governments focus more on promoting mental wellness, including increased spending, we can expect to see more mental illness around the world.
There are numerous reasons why people struggle to get mental health treatment. One of the reasons is that there are often not enough mental health professionals available given the number of patients who need treatment. In addition, stigma can make some feel trapped in a cycle of mental illness that can keep people from asking for help and treatment. Research tells us that nearly 90 percent of those with mental health challenges explain that they feel stigma and discrimination have a destructive impact on their life.
There are a number of ways to address the challenges associated with getting people the mental health treatment they need. One is to train and employ more mental health professionals. This funding should come from both the private and public sectors. The addition of mental health funding to national health insurance plans would be another way to increase access to mental health treatment. We also need governmental at all levels to acknowledge and address the dramatic rise in opioid-related deaths that are often driven by despair, depression and anxiety.
Traditional mental health services can be expensive, but there are increasing signs that online resources can help people who are facing mental health challenges. Online resources can be valuable since they often can deliver effective services more quickly and without the logistical challenges of traditional approaches. Research tells us that upwards of 70% of people struggle to access traditional, in-person mental health treatment due to a variety of obstacles such as cost, lack of public transportation, and a shortage of mental health professionals. Online therapy is very flexible, and can be provided over the telephone, via video conversations, and even through emails, and text messages.