In recent years, mental health awareness has increased as discussions of mental health issues have become more mainstream. In spite of the increased discussion and support from the public, however, people still struggle to cope with their illnesses every single day, and the signs aren’t always as obvious as the public might think. Signs of depression and other mental health issues can span from lack of appetite to chronic fatigue to, interestingly, speaking too quickly or too slowly.
Our team was curious to see how mental health levels differed by city based on obvious and subtle symptoms that can point to something being wrong. Using city data, we were able to create a weighted scale to identify which cities in the US have the highest population percentage of people with signs of mental illness or depression. We compiled our findings below.
Of the US cities we examined, Phoenix, AZ had the highest percentage of people who admit to having feelings of depression. Fresno, CA came in second, followed by Tuscon, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV in third and fourth place respectively.
There was a three-way tie for cities with the second-highest percentage of people who admit to having thoughts of ending their own lives. Las Vegas, NV, Tuscon, AZ, and Phoenix, AZ all had a result of 4.6% of people thinking suicidal thoughts. Los Angeles, CA – famous for celebrities, healthy living, and beautiful weather – had the highest population percentage who admitted that they had had suicidal thoughts before, which was somewhat surprising to us.
Phoenix, AZ was once again the city with the highest percentage of people who exhibited a sign of depression or other mental illness. According to our data, 22% of people in Phoenix, AZ say that they feel bad about themselves. Omaha, NE came in second for this metric and Tuscon, AZ, Fresno, CA, and Oklahoma City, OK all tied for third place.
Low energy/constant exhaustion is one of the physical signs of depression, among other mental illnesses. Arizona ranked with two cities, Tuscon and Phoenix, taking the top two spots for the highest percentage of people who suffer from constant fatigue. Right behind them came Fresno, CA in third.
San Francisco, CA had the best mental health rates in the US according to our weighted scale. San Francisco scored a 96.5 out of 100 on our cumulative city score. Seattle, WA came in second with a score of 92, and Atlanta, GA and Washington D.C. tied for third place at 91.
Based on our results, Phoenix, AZ had the worst overall mental health score with a final score of 10 out of 100. Tuscon, AZ was just ahead with a score of 10.5 out of 100, and Fresno, California was the third worst city we examined, with a cumulative weighted score of 13 out of 100.
Mental health awareness and acceptance can save lives, and knowing what signs to look for is crucial to being a support system for someone in your life or an advocate for yourself. If you’re struggling with co-occurring mental health and addiction, we are here to help you.
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