Coretopic:Behavioral and Mental Health

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.

Katti Gray (@kattigray) is AHCJ's core topic leader for behavioral and mental health.

A former Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow, Gray is providing resources to help AHCJ members expand their coverage of mental health amid ongoing efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness and to place mental health care on par with all health care.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to


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