Brain health—a term inclusive of positive mental health and the full range of mental, substance use, and neurological conditions—is a critical determinant of overall health. Regardless of age, income, or geography, brain health materially impacts every person’s life.
Brain health is broader than the absence of disease.1 It includes improving overall cognitive functioning, resilience, and the state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able contribute to his or her community.2
Brain conditions account for a large portion of the global disease burden—a challenge substantially exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. For example, there’s been a more than 25 percent increase in major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders compared to pre-COVID-19 worldwide.3 Brain health remains one of the least addressed, least resourced health topics.
The McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) addresses brain health challenges globally, such as social norms (including stigma), prevention, early detection, treatment effectiveness, integration of care, and workforce availability—as well as opportunities to further support positive mental health.