(Written by Ralph Metzner, FEI Director of Product Management)

According to a study released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published on Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Americans have life expectancies 2.2 years shorter than those in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and other European countries. That statistic alone would give pause, but even more troubling are the causes of death identified as contributing to the lower life expectancy:

  • Drug poisonings
  • Gun injuries
  • Motor vehicle crashes

It is important to keep in perspective that these causes of death as an aggregate phenomenon are not isolated incidents, or limited to a particular social or economic strata. Rather, these causes of death are pervasive enough to lower the life expectancy of our entire nation.

From a context of understanding crisis management as a matter of involving individual resilience as a key element in surviving and recovering from a crisis, and recognizing situational awareness as essential to preventing a crisis from escalating to a dangerous level, it should be apparent from these statistics that being aware of our situation and working to become more resilient are overdue.

Americans are dying off faster than people in comparable countries due to drugs, guns and motor vehicles. Awareness of that fact—and understanding it as a matter of behavioral health—is only the first step towards becoming resilient.