Pain in the Nation: How High Rates of Suicide, Drugs and Overdose Deaths Require a Comprehensive Resiliency Strategy


May 19, 2021 • Briefing

On May 19, 2021,  Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust hosted a virtual Congressional briefing on the Pain in the Nation report series. Over the past decade more than one million Americans have died from alcohol, drugs and suicide. Now this trend has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a fragmented health system, and social and community conditions. No single program or policy will be a cure-all to address these issues. Instead, a comprehensive approach that focuses on the underlying causes of these “deaths of despair” can make even our most vulnerable resilient and heal a fracturing nation.



  • Debra Houry
    Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • John A. Rich
    Professor and former Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Drexel Center for Nonviolence and Justice.
  • Isha Weerasinghe
    Senior Policy Analyst within CLASP’s youth team.
  • Benjamin F. Miller
    Chief Strategy Officer for Well Being Trust.


  • John Auerbach
    John Auerbach is president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health.