The still evolving, sometimes politically threatened, landmark Affordable Care Act of 2010 promised to place mental health on par with physical health care. That promise, and the forces driving it, brought into stark relief how our society continues to grapple with mental wellness, the facts and myths surrounding it and the essential role of mental wellness in overall wellness. The body and mind are inextricably bound. Mental disorders have been linked, for example, to shortened life spans. One study suggested that those with mental illness die anywhere from 14 to 32 years earlier than those who are comparatively mentally well.
One in five U.S. adults and one in five U.S. teens suffers from an array of mental health disorders that, particularly untreated, leave then sidelined. This illnesses cost the U.S. economy in terms of lost workplace productivity, and in lost college years and in an overall diminished quality of life for those with mental illness and their families.