2021 Trends

TREND 1: Self-care

This has become legitimized during the time of the coronavirus and is now seen by policymakers, the media, and society as a top priority in mental wellness. We are responsible for our own mental wellbeing, and everyone should make this a front-burner priority.

TREND 2: Connection with others

From more family time to time reconnecting as well as prioritizing fitness as a means of making new friends and expanding one’s social circle, connectedness—in this time of safety-driven seclusion—is a huge imperative globally.

TREND 3: Connection with nature

Once again, connecting with our source—nature—emerges in the top three trends in mental wellness. Perhaps more than ever, as people focus on their personal wellbeing, exercising in parks and woodland and by the beach has become a vital means of restoring wellbeing and stepping out of the sense of confinement and stress that has accompanied the necessary public health measures of the pandemic.

TREND 4: Cultural inclusivity and connectedness

The focus on this in the US has rippled around the world with the recognition that the mental health and wellness of minority groups, and individual members of these, and of the wider society, are based on the requirement for society to take steps to embrace diversity and ensure safety for all sectors of society.

TREND 5: Corporate recognition

Of the importance of mental wellness, from the burgeoning business of mental wellness apps to investors moving significantly into the mental wellness space, corporate mental wellness programs becoming mainstream, and pharmacy chains such as CVS offering mental wellness services at the pharmacy level. Everywhere, the world of business recognizes the importance of mental wellness and is investing, innovating and reaching out.

TREND 6: Safety and security

Safety from COVID transmission, safety from violence/harm, safety to be seen/heard, including the security needs of minority populations exposed to violence stemming from racial, religious or ethnic affiliations.

TREND 7: Faith

Belief in a higher power and purpose and the assurance of a divine presence that reframes meaning and meaning-making—a central premise to having a sense of belonging.

TREND 8: Accessibility of mental health and wellness intel and therapy

(CVS) and a reduction in stigma toward mental health and illness issues. This includes digital, a sizeable expansion in mental telehealth and wellness investment and a start-up boom.

TREND 9: Plant-based nutrition

The global pandemic and lockdowns have resulted in many consumers reassessing what they eat and their impact on the planet as well as recognizing that healthy nutrition and mental wellness are closely linked. By the summer of 2020, plant-based food sales in the US had more than doubled. If researchers are right, there will be a 98 percent rise in vegans compared to this time last year.

TREND 10: “Sawubona”

A greeting used in Zulu culture that means “I see you” as a practice of recognizing and acknowledging the value and worth in others, promoting inclusion and acceptance.