A panel of U.S. surgeons general is warning that the country’s worsening mental health crisis could come to undermine democracy. The seven current and former surgeons general met Thursday at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to discuss the mental health crisis.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, who currently holds the office, said the problem partly stems from loneliness and a lack of community. People who struggle with loneliness and isolation, their risk of mental illness goes up of depression, of anxiety, of suicide, he was quoted as saying by New Hampshire Public Radio.
But the surprising thing is their risk of physical ailments go up, too, with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease by 29%, 50% increase in the risk of dementia among older people.
Dr. Richard Carmona, who was Surgeon General under former President George W. Bush, recalled becoming aware of the nation’s crumbling mental health system while trying to get his adult son treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs.