It is vital to understand the full costs of the mental health crisis affecting our nation. Left untreated, mental health disorders affect the well-being of children, adults, families, and communities—both because of the emotional costs as well as the economic ramifications. These disorders were already too common before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pandemic magnified the crisis by simultaneously increasing the need for care and diminishing access to it. As part of his Unity Agenda, President Biden has put forward a national strategy to transform how our country understands, accesses, and treats mental health. This strategy recognizes that policies that improve the affordability of mental health treatment, expand access to behavioral health providers, invest in prevention, and increase the take-up of mental health services, can reduce the economic, emotional, and physical burdens that mental health disorders can create. . . .
The state of mental health disorders in America . . . .
The social and economic consequences of mental health disorders . . . .
How can the burden of mental health disorders be reduced? . . .
The mental health crisis facing Americans imposes significant costs to the well-being of affected individuals, their loved ones, and society as a whole. This crisis took hold long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but its effects were amplified as the pandemic resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods and unprecedented social isolation. Increasing the productive capacity of the economy going forward requires improving people’s mental health, which can be done by improving the affordability of mental health treatment, expanding the behavioral health workforce, and removing barriers to seeking care.