Key Takeaways From Kaiser Permanente’s Discussion on Mental Health at Davos

A panel of experts addressed the world’s leading cause of disability.

Courtesy of Kat Smith/Pexels

This year, the nonprofit Kaiser Permanente (KP) sponsored a panel on mental health at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Fortune’s Clifton Leaf reports. He notes that, according to the 2016 Global Burden of Disease study, published annually in The Lancet, “When taken together, mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders are the world’s leading cause of disability,” and, “they’re responsible for one in every 10 lost years of human health.” And yet, according to mental health expert Pamela Collins, who was part of the panel discussion, “despite this, most people with a mental disorder do not receive minimally adequate care.”

There are many possible reasons for this inadequate level of care. Illustrating the need for further understanding and recognition of these diseases, KP CEO Bernard Tyson explained that in the KP system, “nearly a third of primary care visits for patients presenting with physical symptoms, the underlying cause appeared to be related in some way to a mental health issue.”

As Leaf says, it’s a sign of growing despair. “The harm of hopelessness is being felt everywhere and in greater amounts,” he writes, “from the widespread burden of depression to steadily increasing suicide rates to the alarming epidemic of opioid misuse.” It’s also part of what Leaf calls “the coming deluge” of Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementia conditions as our population gets older. Leaf’s takeaway? “You have a fast-growing burden of mind and brain disease that will fall heavily on both national healthcare systems and family caregivers,” he writes. “The mental health disorder time bomb is upon us.”

Read more on the panel here

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The Mission to Treat the World’s Mental Health Crisis

by Laina Richards

Why Mental Health at Work Matters

by Nalini Saligram

Obamacare Enhances Health Security for Americans with Mental Illness

by David B. Grinberg

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.