Mental health has been top of mind this year – and the attention has been long overdue.
Recognized on October 10th each year, World Mental Health Day offers an opportunity to educate, inform, and inspire global action as we seek to combat today’s most urgent mental health issues. World Mental Health Day’s 2021 theme—Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality—reinforces the need for greater access to and awareness of mental health care to support all populations, especially those most affected by the social determinants of health.
Mental health issues have been on a steady incline in recent years, yet rates of reported anxiety, depression, substance abuse, excessive stress, and suicidal thoughts in June 2020 were nearly double of what would normally be expected.
There’s more behind the mental health crisis than fear and stress related to the ongoing pandemic. Individuals are facing issues like job loss, a stressful new daily routine, changing health status, caregiver responsibilities, and more, all of which contribute to worsening mental health outcomes.
With marginalized populations at greater risk of heightened stress due to financial hardship, chronic disease, preexisting mental health issues and stigma related to treatment, and lack of access to care, increasing the availability of mental health care is fundamental to addressing this crisis. Fortunately, the need to provide quality mental health services across the globe was officially recognized during the World Health Assembly this May. Progress is happening, but we need to do more.
Mental health doesn’t exist in a silo. One’s mental state has the power to negatively or positively impact overall wellbeing; conversely, one’s overall wellbeing influences mental health. Understanding the relationship between mental wellness and physical wellbeing and providing the right supports at the right time are critical to improving total population health.
At Virgin Pulse, we take a whole-person approach to health and wellbeing. By providing our clients and our members with a unified, highly personalized digital health experience, we’re helping people improve their mental health, their physical wellbeing, and everything in between. While each member creates their own unique wellness journey through their identified goals and interactions with the platform, our Homebase for Health® supports mental health across a variety of features:
- Healthy habit tracking to promote overall physical and mental health
- One-on-one health coaching, with specialization across 22 different wellness topics
- Self-paced Journeys to empower members to adopt healthy habits in wellbeing areas that are most meaningful to them
- Wellbeing challenges to boost social connections and reinforce a culture of wellbeing
- Partner add-ons, including Whil, and integrated partners ALAViDA, Headspace, meQuilibrium, myStrength, Pack Health, SilverCloud, Spring Health, and Unmind.
From workplace initiatives to global action, navigating the mental health crisis requires us to identify and understand the risks that each demographic faces. The Virgin Pulse Insights Team took a deep dive into the data to help U.S.-based organizations effectively address the mental health needs of their diverse populations.