By Mary Langowski, CEO, Solera Health
As a CEO and mom of a child with special needs, juggling is the norm. But the stress of the last year - home schooling (poorly, I might add), running a company virtually, and the unending isolation - has been overwhelming, to say the least. And I know others have experienced far more stress and devastation than my family has endured. This pandemic is testing the resilience of everyone in ways and degrees that few of us could have imagined.
Despite the promise of new vaccines, the mental health of Americans continues to suffer. During last year’s summer surge, US adults reported as much as a tripling of anxiety symptoms and a four-fold increase in depressive disorder compared to prior years (CDC). As we enter 2021, stress has risen to its highest levels since the early days of the pandemic, while increases in suicide and substance abuse signal potentially 75,000 additional deaths.
COVID has exposed that our system is ill equipped to adequately meet the mental health needs of Americans. However, there are many promising new innovators working to address the capacity, access, and stigma issues that have historically created barriers to using mental health services.
That is why I’m proud to announce Solera is playing a role in addressing these needs through development of our Stress, Sleep and Resilience (SSR) program. As digital programs revolutionize the delivery of mental health care in the U.S., the Solera SSR program brings together leading evidence-based digital tools into a cohesive network and leverages our matching capabilities to connect participants with the program that best meets their needs.
Our interventions are rooted in established methods of mental health, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness and meditation. Digital CBT and related modalities have repeatedly shown benefits to individuals experiencing symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, or poor sleep, all of which contribute to mental suffering, worse physical health, and increased costs of care.
Solera continues to build capabilities that enable whole-person health. The linkage between mental and physical wellbeing is no longer in doubt. By adding the SSR program to our portfolio, Solera will create new connection points between this and other beneficial programs.
The National Institutes of Mental Health has detailed the many benefits of digital mental health treatment, and it is encouraging that consumers are turning to these tools. As we begin to rebuild after the pain and trauma of the first year of the pandemic, we can look to digital tools as part of a comprehensive plan to address the long-term mental health of individuals and society.