The 21st century has undoubtedly been extremely beneficial to the average American, especially those whom have faced mental or behavioral health challenges. Not only can every citizen now have access to medical insurance, but the realm of mental and behavioral health has expanded significantly and for the better. There have been significant developments in discovering the causes of many mental health issues and illnesses, and treatment have improved significantly. The year 2008 also marked the passing of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which essentially requires group plans and health insurance issuers to offer copays, deductibles and treatment limitations to be no more restrictive than the requirements for traditional medical or surgical benefits; so ultimately the rights for mental health coverage has increased as well.
So what will the future of mental health hold for everyone? One of the most intriguing industries that will undoubtedly see tremendous growth is the wellness industry. Stress and anxiety issues continue to become more prevalent in our society, especially in the modern workforce. A stronger interest has been placed on developing methods for helping to reduce stress in our modern lives, and the potentials are seemingly unlimited with the data and methods available to us. As an increasingly connected global society, there are undoubtedly pros and cons when it comes to facing our day to day lives; social media is one aspect that has increased stress in many ways, as well as an overload of information available at our fingertips in the form of smart phones, laptops and 24/7 connectivity.
Altogether, there is a tremendous focus on mental health that has continued to grow, and it has been recognized at every level: from the government to mental health professionals and businesses across the country, wellness and mental health has become more and more elevated in every sector. There are many predictions that corporate wellness is the next trillion-dollar industry; a very large number indeed, but with the shift focusing more and more on every man and woman’s mental health and well-being, there is indeed room for such growth.
Lines have often been blurred between home life and work. We are reachable 24/7, which adds a tremendous amount of pressure in the American workplace. If there is no distinguishing ability to draw lines between work and our personal lives, the quality of life can decrease, adding pressure, which can cause a significant increase in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Wellness is the future of diminishing these instances in our lives, and is undoubtedly going to be a focus as we move forward 10, 20 and 30 years in the future.
The future belongs to forward-thinkers in the mental health and wellness industries; greater care and attention will be paid towards the education of wellness in our daily lives, along with an emphasis on greater downtime away from the stresses of work and society. We will likely see models projected in the direction of Europe, with a stronger emphasis on improving the day to day mental well-being of our lives. With a focus on continual improvements in the mental and behavioral health fields, greater government interest in addressing mental health needs and a generation poised to lead our nation in addressing behavioral health issues, the future looks very bright indeed.