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Poor Mental Health Days
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Poor Mental Health Days is the average number of days in the previous 30 days that a person 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 in the previous 30 days. Ranks are based on data from the preceding year from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS telephone survey has traditionally been completed by people using land lines. During the fielding of the 2011 BRFSS, the methodology was updated to include cellular telephones due to the large number of households that contain only cellular telephones and no landline telephones. Because of these changes, estimates of poor mental health days from the 2012 Edition forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years. Shifts in estimates from previous years may be the result of the new methods, rather than measurable changes in the percentages.

Poor mental health days provide a general indication of health related quality of life, mental distress and the burden of more serious mental illnesses on the population. Good mental health is essential to good overall health and wellness. Poor mental health days are 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[1]. Poor mental health in extreme cases can lead to suicide, which is the 11th leading cause of death for all ages and the 2nd leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds. The medical costs of mental illness are estimated to be approximately $100 billion annually[2]. Although occasional short periods of mental distress and a few poor mental health days may be unavoidable, more prolonged and serious episodes are preventable though early interventions[3]

[1]  Dominick KL, Ahern FM, Gold CH, Heller DA: Relationship of health-related quality of life to health care utilization and mortality among older adults.Aging Clin Exp Res 2002, 14:499-508

[2] Mark TL, Levit KR, Buck JA, Coffey RM, Vandivort-Warren R. Mental health treatment expenditure trends, 1986– 2003. Psychiatric Services. 2007;58:1041–1048

[3] Moriarty DG. Geographic patterns of frequent mental distress: US adults, 1993–2001 and 2003–2006. Am J Prev Med. 2009;36(6):497. Bottom of Form


VT Poor Mental Health Days (2000-2013) see more
  • 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)

The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.


State Changes
Over Time
Rank Value Take Action
2000 - Vermont graph 14 2.8 View Actions
2001 - Vermont graph 13 2.8 View Actions
2002 - Vermont graph 16 3.1 View Actions
2003 - Vermont graph 21 3.1 View Actions
2004 - Vermont graph 12 3.1 View Actions
2005 - Vermont graph 15 3.2 View Actions
2006 - Vermont graph 20 3.2 View Actions
2007 - Vermont graph 10 3.0 View Actions
2008 - Vermont graph 16 3.2 View Actions
2009 - Vermont graph 28 3.4 View Actions
2010 - Vermont graph 19 3.3 View Actions
2011 - Vermont graph 16 3.3 View Actions
2012 - Vermont graph 19 3.7 View Actions
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