In his 30 years as a mental health professional and behavioral health caretaker, Nick Dewan, M.D. has observed a direct relationship between mental health and physical health. There is a growing understanding that the two are intertwined, and that mental health has a deep impact on our sense of purpose, our ability to thrive, and our physical well-being. People experience the effects of stress, anxiety, sadness, or depression in their bodies and minds. On the other hand, having supportive relationships and feeling cared for can increase positive emotions, which in turn leads to a sense of belonging, satisfaction, and better outcomes in various aspects of life.
At Florida Blue, the belief is that without good mental health, there is no good health. This guiding principle shapes the company’s approach to supporting individuals and communities in attaining holistic health. Unfortunately, mental health challenges are prevalent in the United States, with alarming statistics revealing that one person dies every three minutes from alcohol, drugs, or suicide, and that one in five adults and one in six young people experience mental health problems each year. A significant shortage of mental health professionals compounds the situation, leading to long wait times and inadequate access to care for many people.
To address these challenges, Florida Blue has taken concrete steps to improve access to mental health care through innovative collaborations with local nonprofits, increased virtual and in-person care, technological advancements, and grants to organizations aimed at improving health services, particularly in underserved areas. The company recognizes the importance of forming creative partnerships across different sectors to reimagine healthcare and promote overall well-being for people of all ages.
In summary, it is vital to acknowledge that mental health and physical health are interconnected, and that a holistic approach to health is necessary for individuals and communities to flourish. By prioritizing mental health care, reducing stigma, and increasing access, we can work towards creating a healthier society where all people can thrive.