Editor's Note: As we gear up for this year's Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit, we continue to reflect on last year’s executive takeaways to assess healthcare’s ongoing journey towards progress. One key topic from last year's Summit: Healthcare's approach to mental health must be redesigned. Consider the mental health epidemic in the US. Nearly one in five American adults suffers from a form of mental illness. Suicide rates are at an all-time high, 115 people die daily from opioid abuse, and one in eight Americans aged 12 and over take an antidepressant daily. Yet we still operate two healthcare systems in this country – one for the body, and an inferior one for the mind. In this panel – "Never Mind: Integrating our Split Systems" – Oliver Wyman joins three mental health experts to discuss how to bring these two systems together, move beyond treating mental health as simply a cost issue, and redefine "mental health" merely as "health."
- Sam: "Mental health in a typical employer claims set represents only about four percent of claims, even though it affects 25 percent of the costs. It's one of those things we spend a lot of money on, but we spend a lot of money not spending money on."
- Linda: "There's no measurement-based care. You get a prescription. Maybe you fill it. Maybe you don't. But probably half the audience here has some kind of antidepressant they're taking."
- Patrick: "My wife's a public school teacher. She knows which kids are in trouble, but she can't put her finger on it. There's no information sharing in the education space. There's no social-emotional learning helping these kids navigate their feelings, their emotions, how to mediate problems, coping skills – all of what we need our kids to know the most, we don't do in education and social-emotional learning. But if we start it early, we could really avert a whole bow wave of disability down the line."
- Tom: "Young people prefer [to access mental health services] online compared to offline. There's less stigma. There's more convenience. It can be customized. All a sudden, we have a wonderful opportunity to solve all of these problems in a way that scales beautifully, is relatively inexpensive, and amazingly seems to be pretty effective."