Mental health and wellbeing needs are growing globally due to inequities, the pandemic, and the general stresses of a hyper-connected life. At the same time, the number of people with physical disabilities is dramatically increasing due to demographic trends and chronic health conditions. How can we address these urgent needs while reducing the stigma and discrimination that often accompany these challenges?
According to a 2020 CDC study, 40% of American adults struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues. WHO data indicates that more than 275 million people worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder, and nearly as many suffer from depression, costing the global economy one trillion dollars yearly. Their data also show that people with physical disability experience poorer health outcomes, have less access to education and work opportunities, and are more likely to live in poverty than those without a disability. In both cases—and for various reasons—patients are not getting the necessary health care services.