Mental health is continuing to be the focus across industries—within healthcare, corporate wellness, academia, digital health and more. And rightfully so. Mental health conditions are only becoming more widespread across the U.S., and access to necessary care has been slow to catch up.
Our mission at YourCoach is deeply rooted in improving access to mental health resources through health coaching, in our efforts to help create happier and healthier humans. Mental health is absolutely key to achieving optimal holistic health and we recognize that health coaches can be a massive gamechanger.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve released our latest Deep Dive on the current state of mental health in the U.S. and the encouraging data around health coaching and mental health. Read on for a preview of what to expect from this incredibly important report.
Why is mental health so important?
Mental health conditions are steadily on the rise in the U.S. and though we’ve expanded treatments in the last decade, we still have plenty of work to do. Every year, nearly one in five adults and one in six children in the U.S. experiences a mental illness.These staggering numbers are only compounded by the fact that more than half of American adults suffering from a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need.
Untreated mental health conditions can have serious implications. They might have an impact on physical health conditions—like diabetes and heart disease—as well as the ways in which we show up at school, work, our relationships and the ways we cope with uncertainty, sadness, pain and more. Mental health is one of the single biggest predictors of overall health and wellbeing and when we fail to focus on this critical aspect of our lives we may face serious and lasting consequences.
How are health coaches helping?
The effects of health coaching on mental health are undeniable. Studies suggest health coaching can have significant and lasting impacts on mental health conditions across the board. For example, a recent study on nearly 1,500 participants in the US suffering from moderate levels of anxiety and depression showed a marked decrease in symptoms when working with a health coach. Similarly, a 2021 study examining the impact of the VA Whole Health Coaching program showed significant improvements over baseline in mental health, stress, and perceived health competence. We’ve compiled a sampling of some of the strongest current data in our latest Deep Dive to help showcase this impact a bit more.
Health coaches play a unique role in patient care teams and it’s important to note their non-clinical role is distinct and uniquely valuable compared to mental health practitioners like psychotherapists.
So what exactly is the scope of health coaches when working with patients suffering from mental health conditions?
- Education & Awareness – Coaches can help clients recognize and address behaviors that might be symptomatic of a mental health condition and encourage them to seek help from the right healthcare practitioners.
- Lifestyle Modifications – Coaches can help clients pursue healthy habits that can improve ongoing conditions or encourage them to take required medications more regularly.
- Stress Management Techniques – Coaches can help clients incorporate tools to better manage potentially triggering situations as they arise.
- Emotional Support – Coaches can serve as a strong support system for clients as they manage the day-to-day of ongoing mental health conditions.
What is YourCoach doing to expand access to mental health coaching?
Our team is passionate about improving mental health through health coaching, beyond just Mental Health Awareness Month. Our mission boils down to just that, helping create happier and healthier humans through health coaching. We’re all about authenticity at YourCoach, so it’s not just enough to state our mission—we’ve majorly proven how committed we are to this goal in the past year. More than a quarter of health coaches on our platform have identified mental health as a core focus of their practice.
What’s more, we’re the first in the industry to pioneer industry partnerships with digital therapeutics companies that are innovating to provide better mental health resources, tools and care. We’ve helped them surround their existing offerings with health coaching, while leveraging validated coaches from our platform to power up these endeavors. We’re already seeing impressive results and are looking forward to sharing some of these anonymized results in the near future.
It was important for us to join the conversation during Mental Health Awareness Month to make sure the power of health coaching was communicated and celebrated more broadly. We brought this to life through a CEU-eligible event on Mental Health & Care earlier this month and now through our latest Deep Dive. However, we’re committed to educating about the impact of health coaching on mental health and expanding access all year long. It’s a cornerstone to the Health Coaching Revolution and we have lots more in store to further this mission in the years ahead.