over 50 million Americans
In 2019-2020, 20.78% of adults were experiencing a mental illness. That is equivalent to over 50 million Americans.
Almost a third (28.2%) of all adults with a mental illness reported that they were not able to receive the treatment they needed. 42% of adults reported they were unable to receive necessary care because they could not afford it.
Mental health and wellness shouldn't be a wealth issue.
Americans spend about $30.2 billion yearly out-of-pocket on complementary health products and practices. Data show that 33 percent of adults and almost 12 percent of children use complementary health approaches.
$14.7 billion out-of-pocket for visits to complementary and integrative health practitioners such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists
$12.8 billion out-of-pocket on natural products
About $2.7 billion on self-care approaches (homeopathic medicines and self-help materials, such as books or CDs, related to complementary health topics).
This out-of-pocket spending for complementary health approaches represents 9.2 percent of all out-of-pocket spending by Americans on health care ($328.8 billion) and 1.1 percent of total health care spending ($2.82 trillion).
current standard model care for mental health and overall wellness does not typically include complementary (CAM) therapies. Even though proven to be effective they still are not covered by state or private insurances. Yet CAM therapies are accessible to those with expendable income. Leaving out those who have been statistically shown to benefit most from cam therapies.
what is CAM?
(complementary and alternative medicine)
Complementary medicine is used along with standard medical treatment but is not considered by itself to be standard treatment. Alternative medicine is used instead of standard medical treatment. One example is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of cancer drugs that are prescribed by an oncologist.
A few examples of CAM:
meditation: focused breathing or repetition of words or phrases to quiet the mind and lessen stressful thoughts and feelings.
yoga: ancient system of practices used to balance the mind and body through stretches and poses, meditation, and controlled breathing.
tai chi: a form of gentle exercise and meditation that uses slow sets of body movements and controlled breathing.
creative outlets: art, music, or dance.
Project Healing Hive integrates CAM creating a "whole person health" approach to mental health and wellness. Whole person health or holistic refers to helping individuals, families, communities, and populations improve and restore their health in multiple interconnected domains—biological, behavioral, social, environmental—rather than just treating disease. Research on whole person health includes expanding the understanding of the connections between these various aspects of health, including connections between organs and body systems.
Project Healing Hive is a grassroots organization founded in 2019. Our mission is to improve access to evidence-based CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) for overall health and mental wellness through research and development, advocacy, and community-based services.
Our goal is to create systemic change in how we treat mental, physical, and spiritual health by creating sustainable trauma informed systems that provide access to community-based mental health resources that include holistic and complementary therapies. Integrative holistic health and wellness is based on the philosophy of working with the whole person and recognizing the contextual factors that influence health and wellness. Holistic and complementary therapies continue to evolve and are supported by contemporary health sciences and their efficacy is supported by an increasing body of research evidence, which contributes to the growing understanding and acceptance of their value as therapeutic benefits.
“We must first create systems that address and change the accessibility to mental health and holistic wellness options”.
Shortly after losing her daughter’s father to suicide, PHH founder Kristen and her daughter Eliana were both prescribed psychiatric medications to help cope with the symptoms of their traumatic loss and grief. This is a far too common occurrence in the standard model of mental healthcare. But Kristen felt there had to be a better way to cope with this trauma then to medicate both herself and her daughter and opted not to take the medication route for her and Eliana. After spending time at a friend's apiary learning about honeybees Kristen had a profound somatic experience that allowed her to reconnect her body and mind with a sense of calm and control. Kristen wanted to explore how spending time with honeybees could be so calming and life changing. She felt the need for better options accessing trauma therapy and community-based mental health services for individuals and families. Project Healing Hive was born.
Mental health remains one of the most vexing problems in the US largely due to the stigma around mental illness and income barriers for quality care. Kristen and her daughter suffered these experiences after their traumatic loss trying to access services through the standard mental health model offered today. PHH is a community-based organization that provides trauma-informed therapy and integrative holistic therapies that are evidence-based and accessible to all. Quality mental health and wellness options should not be a privilege rather the standard.
Listen to PHH founder Kristen's interview on Let's Talk About It Radio.