October 5, 2022

Get the latest industry news first when you subscribe to our daily newsletter.

MedCity Influencers
By Mike Nolte
help, aid, trust
The national rollout of 988, the mental health crisis hotline, brought two important realities to light. First, it drew welcome attention to the need for a “last line of defense” for people experiencing serious emotional distress and suicide crises. Suicide was a top-10 leading cause of death for people ages 10-64 in 2020, and access to the 24-hour 988 hotline, the equivalent of a 911 for mental health emergencies, goes a long way to mitigating self-harm and suicide ideation.
Secondly, it focused attention on the fact that the U.S. continues to lack a more proactive and well-coordinated approach to helping people “upstream” of a crisis. The support system that prevents lower acuity mental health challenges from becoming more serious is still very poor.
Given the inextricable link between mind and body, an untreated mental illness like depression or anxiety can lead to addiction and other physical health problems, which in turn can contribute in a negative cycle of other behaviors that exacerbate mental health traumas.
Moreover, school shootings, the Ukraine invasion, pandemic disruptions, Supreme Court decisions, inflation, and other events exacerbated stress levels for millions.
Astoundingly, we still currently lack the infrastructure needed to help people navigate their mental health journey. Just 28 percent of the U.S. population lives in a county where there are sufficient mental health practitioners. More practitioners would mitigate risks associated with people suffering severe mental health challenges. Even during the initial 988 hotline rollout, some states experienced problems staffing call centers and challenges referring people to local caregivers.
For employees struggling with heightened stress, and anxiety, demand for access to mental health services through their employer is increasing. Unsurprisingly, at least one survey of HR professionals identified significant challenges companies have to provide the right mental health and wellbeing services for their employees.
Developing the mental health infrastructure needed to treat mental illnesses in a coordinated and preventive manner, reducing risks before they reach a crisis point, will require a multi-stakeholder approach that includes these pillars.
Many people, unfortunately, will need to seek help through the 988 hotline and other emergency services, no matter what preventive measures we take to treat their mental illnesses, and elevating a mental health crisis to the equivalent of a 911-type of emergency is a welcome step.
However, healthcare organizations, employers, communities, advocates, and politicians must continue efforts to develop a well-coordinated mental health infrastructure. We cannot ignore the fact that for any illness, preventive care and early treatment result in healthier individuals, and longer, more productive lives.
Photo: zhaojiankang, Getty Images
Promoted

Actions ranging from data theft to ransomware cost the healthcare industry over $9.2 million on average for every breach. Guidelines for making computing environments that house and utilize sensitive protected healthcare data more secure are highlighted in a new whitepaper by Ventech.
Ventech Solutions and MedCity News
Promoted

Clinicians used to wonder if there was a role for mindfulness meditation in healthcare. But after the Covid-19 pandemic laid bare the overwhelming need for practical solutions in behavioral health, the question has shifted to what role it can play.
Stephanie Baum

Mike Nolte is the CEO of Uprise Health, a leading digital mental health company that cares for the total person.
Promoted

Surgery management has emerged as a key area where employers are collaborating with providers through companies like Transcarent to provide more informed guidance on surgery care delivery options for the best patient outcomes and experience.
Stephanie Baum
INVEST Digital Health 2022
MedCity INVEST Digital Health, to be held in Dallas on September 28, will bring together all the players at the vanguard of this wholesale transformation who are tackling both dazzling opportunities and thorny problems. Register now.>>
GOT NEWS? SEND US A TIP
Get the latest industry news first when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Promoted

As they seek to support their staff, self-insured employers are turning to innovative programs to balance evidence-based programs with the need to manage healthcare costs.
Stephanie Baum
Our Sites
© 2022 Breaking Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Registration or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Privacy Center | Do not sell my information
DMCA compliant image




source

Leave a Reply