Poor Mental Health Days
- Number of days in the previous 30 days when a person indicates their activities are limited due to mental health difficulties.
- Number of days in the previous 30 days when a person indicates their activities are limited due to mental health difficulties. (2011 BRFSS Methodology)
Poor Mental Health Days is the average number of days in the previous 30 days that an adult could not perform work or household tasks due to mental illness. The self-reported data relies on the accuracy of each respondent’s estimate of the number of limited activity days they experienced in the previous 30 days. The 2013 ranks are based on self-report data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Because of the 2011 change in BRFSS methodology, poor mental health days from the 2012 Edition onward cannot be directly compared to estimates from previous years (see Methodology).
Poor mental health days provide a general indication of health related quality of life, mental distress, and the burden that more serious mental illnesses place on the population. A healthy mental state is essential to overall positive health and wellness. Poor mental health days is an assessment of the impact of poor mental health on wellness. The number of poor mental health days is also a predictor of future health as it predicts 1-month and 12-month office visits and hospitalizations. In extreme cases, poor mental health can lead to suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages and the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds. The medical costs of mental illness are estimated to be approximately $100 billion annually. Although occasional short periods of mental distress and a few poor mental health days may be unavoidable, more prolonged and serious episodes are treatable and preventable through early interventions. The CDC provides links to general resources, including a mental health services locator.
The number of poor mental health days in the previous 30 days ranges from an average of 2.8 days in North Dakota to an average of 5.2 days in Alabama. The average number of poor mental health days in the previous 30 days for the United States is 3.9 days.
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