Political conflict and change are normal features of life; however, recent events have elevated that concept to new heights in modern American history.
During these times of increased tension and polarization, conflict and change have caused many people to feel anxious and worried.
As we herald in a new year with a COVID-19 vaccine, our hope is a return to a life we once knew of being the social animals we’re meant to be.
For healthcare, 2021 poses the hope to refocus on issues that will continue to remain of utmost importance to the health and wellbeing of Americans in a post-pandemic world.
Highlighting an interview with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), Beacon Health Options posted a blog in September about the potential impact of COVID-19 on suicide rates in the United States.
The blog pointed out that suicide data from 2018 — the most recent we have on suicide trends — can tell us little about anything today, such as a reaction to the pandemic, making it difficult to inform prevention efforts.
Many factors are driving the awareness of mental health in the United States, ranging from the launch of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to the mental health implications of the current COVID-19 public health crisis.
However, we still have a ways to go before mental health is treated equally with physical health.
There’s a lot going on in the world right now that can upset the most balanced of equilibriums.
COVID-19 has caused widespread illness and economic hardship, as our country also goes through ongoing social change and national introspection.
And, then, of course, there’s the election.
People with mental illness have a hard time accessing mental health care, especially compared to physical health care.
In fact, worldwide, more than 70 percent of individuals with mental illness do not receive any mental health treatment.
Peer support specialists — those individuals with lived experience of mental illness and/or substance use disorder (SUD) — have been well-established in behavioral health interventions.
Their shared experience provides the credibility and understanding that help individuals with mental health and SUD challenges on their road to recovery.