Many factors affect mental health, including a person’s environment.
Where a person lives and how they interact with their surroundings has a major impact on taking control of their overall well-being and mental health. In fact, a person’s environment is so important to their mental health that Mental Health Month, which takes place every May, is dedicated to becoming more aware of what surrounds you and its impact on mental health.
According to Mental Health America (MHA), nearly 50 million individuals or 19.86% of American adults experienced a mental illness in 2019.
MHA ranked the 50 states on the prevalence of mental health and access to care. To complete the rankings, MHA used 15 factors, including adults with Any Mental Illness (AMI), youth with at least one Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the past month, mental health workforce availability, among others.
Pennsylvania ranked number three. The high ranking means that the Commonwealth has lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care.
While Pennsylvania ranks in the top five across the country, Cambria and Somerset counties have significant problems with mental health and access to care.
The 2022 County Health Rankings show that Cambria County adults reported their mental health was not good on 5.4 days of the previous 30 days and Somerset County adults reported their mental health was not good on 5.1 of the previous 30 days. Both counties have higher numbers than the Pennsylvania average at 4.8 days and the United States at 4.4 days.
Both counties also have less mental health providers per one person than Pennsylvania (400 mental health providers to one person) and the United States (340 mental health providers to one person). Cambria County has 460 providers to one person and Somerset County has 800 providers to one person.
Recently, a group of community leaders and mental health providers joined forces to form a Mental Health Consortium for Cambria and Somerset counties.
Seeking out a mental health provider is very important for one’s well-being. According to MHA, there are also other ways to improve mental health on a daily basis:
- Spending time in nature
- Writing in a gratitude and achievement journal
- Take time to laugh
- Relax in a warm bath once a week
- Enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine
For more tips how to improve your mental health on a daily basis, visit https://www.mhanational.org/31-tips-boost-your-mental-health.