Physical and mental well-being starts with access to fresh air and water, nutritious food, and the security of a stable home. People also need healthy relationships – with freedom to express gender and sexuality – and a life free from violence, injury, and toxic stress. Access to routine and critical health care is also an important factor to maintaining health and well-being.
The ability for many American’s to have their Basic Needs for Health & Safety met has been severely compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis. Half of the U.S. workforce is facing layoffs, and as a result, things like paying monthly rent and buying groceries have become more difficult for families. Lack of basic needs has led to higher levels of domestic violence, toxic stress, mental health problems, and other poor health outcomes. The loss of so many jobs has decreased access to healthcare, including mental health services, and has put people at risk for financially crippling medical bills. Community support systems have risen to meet some needs, but new ideas and better public policies are essential for the Unites States to recover and prosper moving forward.