Mental health has often been minimized by society, which places more focus on physical well-being, monetary success, and overall achievement. Fortunately, mental health awareness has been emerging, partially spurred by the pandemic and all of the change, trauma, and isolation caused by it. So where in the United States are people struggling the most with mental health? The team at Charlotte’s Web has delved into County Health Rankings data to find the counties and states where people experience the most mentally unhealthy days. Check it out:
Right away it is clear that West Virginia is struggling with mental health – people report an average of 6.6 mentally unwell days a month. West Virginia consistently ranks among states with the highest percentage of people experiencing mental health struggles such depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. They also have one of the nation’s highest rates of deaths of despair: fatalities linked to suicide, overdoses, and alcohol-related disease. Experts believe that poor mental health in West Virginia is linked to high rates of poverty and substance abuse which is aggravated by a deep-seated culture of self-reliance that stigmatizes help for mental health. There is also a severe shortage of medical providers, causing patients to have to wait months to be seen. If you live in West Virginia, we would love to hear about your experiences!
We always appreciate when design is used to raise awareness and gives voices to communities that may need them. This infographic delivers valuable information in a tasteful, eye-opening way. Keep in mind that this is based off of the self-reported mentally unhealthy days, so the reality could be much more dire, especially in places where it is frowned upon to seek help for mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling, check out the CDC’s list of specific resources that can help you get connected with trained, skilled mental health professionals. Also check out Mental Health First Aid’s list of resources, which delves into areas such substance abuse, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, and more.