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Mental Health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is "no health without mental health."1 "Mental health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component." It is part of the WHO's definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. It is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.2

The World Health Organization's definition of health is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." In other words, mental well-being is an essential part of good health and there is "no health without mental health."1

Further, the WHO defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."1 Healthypeople.gov says that "mental health is essential to a person's well-being, healthy family and interpersonal relationships, and the ability to live a full and productive life."2


1. WHO. Mental health: strengthening our response. 30 March, 2018. Accessed 3/8/2019 from https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response.
2. Healthy People 2020. Accessed 3/8/2019 from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Mental-Health.
The burden of mental health is high in the U.S., and it is one of the most common causes of disability. According to HealthyPeople.gov, mental health disorders significantly affect physical health and "are associated with the prevalence, progression, and outcome of some of today's most pressing chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer."3 They have long-lasting effects that not only include high psychosocial and economic costs for people living with the disorder, but also for their families, schools, workplaces, and communities.4


3. Healthy People 2020, accessed on 3/8/2019 from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Mental-Health.
4. Prince M, Patel V, Saxena S, Maj M, Maselko J, Phillips MR, Rahman A. Global Mental Health 1 - No health without mental health. Lancet. 2007 September 4. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61238-0.
According to HealthyPeople.gov, mental health disorders are a concern for both the old and the young. Factors that have been associated with mental health include age, gender, education, income level, race and ethnicity, geographical location and sexual orientation. Additionally, social conditions such as family dynamics, work/school conditions, and social support also play a role in mental health.5


The promotion of mental health involves actions to create living conditions and environments that support mental health and allow people to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Protective factors include individual, familial, and societal factors and can vary based on age and location.
For a detailed description see:
Mental health data can be obtained from both mortality as well as morbidity data sources:
  • Mortality data provides data due to suicides, mental disorders and illness.
  • Prevalence data comes from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services.
  • Hospital Discharge Data (HDD) for inpatient and ED visits relating to mental health disorders.
  • Treatment Episode Datasets (TEDS) can also be accessed from Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). TEDS provides information on the demographic and substance abuse characteristics of the 1.8 million annual admissions to treatment for abuse of alcohol and drugs in facilities that report to individual State administrative data systems. TEDS is an admission-based system, and TEDS admissions do not represent individuals. Thus, for example, an individual admitted to treatment twice within a calendar year would be counted as two admissions. TEDS does not include all admissions to substance abuse treatment. It includes admissions to facilities that are licensed or certified by the State substance abuse agency to provide substance abuse treatment (or are administratively tracked for other reasons). In general, facilities reporting TEDS data are those that receive State alcohol and/or drug agency funds (including Federal Block Grant funds) for the provision of alcohol and/or drug treatment services.

Mental Health - Adults (BRFSS)


Depression - Adults (BRFSS)


Mental Health and Pregnancy (PRAMS)


Mental Health - Adolescents (YRBS)


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - Adults (BRFSS)


Emergency Department Encounters for Primary Care Sensitive Conditions: Mental Health Related


Mortality: Cause of Death - NCHS 50 leading causes: Alzheimer's disease


Suicide: Injury intention - Self-inflicted


The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://ibis.health.state.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 22 April 2019 12:06:02 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.state.gov ".

Content updated: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 10:00:30 MDT