Chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back, and neck pain are consistently the leading causes of disability worldwide. Mental health conditions and chronic pain are bidirectional, comorbid conditions that often exacerbate one another. Mental Health America (MHA) is dedicated to understanding the specific experiences of people living with mental health and co-occurring chronic conditions in order to create better mental health resources and supports, and make changes to the ways care is provided to those who are struggling.
Early, Equitable and Trauma Responsive Care for Chronic Pain and Mental Health explores the data collected from the 161,363 individuals who self-identified as living with arthritis or other chronic pain and completed a mental health screen from 2015-2019, including an in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of responses to learn more about barriers to care from a smaller subset of 38,000 screeners in 2019. This report also includes policy and practice recommendations throughout to better support people with chronic pain and mental health conditions, based on the findings.