The CEO Alliance for Mental Health recently held a retreat in Napa Valley, California, where the nation's leading mental health organizations came together to address the worsening mental health crisis in the United States. Over the past two decades, mental health outcomes in the country have been declining, with more than 30% of adults reporting symptoms of depression and/or anxiety as of February 2023. Suicide is also a significant concern, being the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24, with high school students attempting suicide at an alarming rate of one out of every 15 students each year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this crisis, with overdose deaths surging during the first two years of the pandemic. Early estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that approximately 110,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2022.
In response to this growing crisis, the CEO Alliance for Mental Health was formed during the early months of the pandemic. The alliance, consisting of chief executives from leading mental health organizations, aims to develop practical, research-based solutions and unite the field. Since 2020, the alliance has met weekly to create a Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care.
The Unified Vision is a comprehensive strategic plan that outlines common goals and solutions to transform the mental healthcare system and address social determinants of mental health. The document provides guidance to individuals and organizations looking to reform mental health, including community-based leaders, employers, and policymakers at various levels.
The Unified Vision is divided into Seven Critical Pillars, which include prevention and early identification, emergency and crisis response, equity, integration, parity, standards, and workforce. These pillars cover various aspects of mental health care, from prevention to improving access to services and quality of care.
Collaboration is essential to achieving the goals outlined in the Unified Vision. By working together, the CEO Alliance for Mental Health believes they can make a significant impact on improving mental health outcomes in the country.
The alliance members are optimistic about the future and the impact they can make. They emphasize the importance of unity and continued action to address the mental health crisis and help individuals build thriving lives.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out for help. The National Suicide Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) and Crisis Text Line at 741741 offer free, confidential support 24/7.