Michigan Association of Health Plans

95% of us say mental health is important, yet only 26% prioritize it. Here’s why you should.

This story is from Aetna. Read more here

If you’re reading this, chances are your health is important to you. It’s important to us too, and we want to understand more about how Americans like you think and act when it comes to health. So we teamed up with the research company Morning Consult to talk with 2,200 adults across the country about their health goals. In 12 questions, our “Picture of health” survey asked people to rate their physical, mental and spiritual health, share their goals, and discuss the barriers they face to achieving them.

Turns out, we’re an optimistic bunch, with most of us rating our current health as good or excellent, and believing it’ll stay that way. We also have similar health aspirations: losing weight, lowering stress. And we cite similar challenges to achieving our goals, namely lack of time and money. Previous research conducted by Aetna echoes the need for more time. Nearly two thirds of people say that they would dedicate more time to mental and physical health if they had an extra hour in the day.

The most surprising thing we found is that, although we say mental health has a powerful influence on overall health, we’re doing very little to prioritize our emotional well-being. Why don’t our actions line up with our beliefs? We dug into the data and consulted with experts to understand this crucial disconnect. After all, doctors now know that supporting mental health is essential to treating complex physical conditions like heart disease and chronic pain.

Keep reading to learn what you should be doing to care for your mental health. Just as important, discover tips to help you make it a priority.

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