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Domain 2: Behavioral Health

Mental Health

According to CDC and Healthy People 2020:

"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. People, including children and adolescents, with untreated mental health disorders are at high risk for many unhealthy and unsafe behaviors, including alcohol or drug abuse, violent or self-destructive behavior and suicide - the 11th leading cause of death in the United States for all age groups and the second leading cause of death among people age 25 to 34.

Mental health disorders also have a serious impact on 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. Mental health disorders can have harmful and long-lasting effects - including high psychosocial and economic costs - not only for people living with the disorder, but also for their families, schools, workplaces and communities.

Fortunately, a number of mental health disorders can be treated effectively, and prevention of mental health disorders is a growing area of research and practice. Early diagnosis and treatment can decrease the disease burden of mental health disorders as well as associated chronic diseases. Assessing and addressing mental health remains important to ensure that all Americans lead longer, healthier lives."

Average Reported Poor Mental Health Days in Past 30 Days

Worcester
12.1
State National
8.9 N/A
Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011

Why this is important:

The National Prevention Strategy suggests enhancing data collection systems to better identify and address mental and emotional health needs. According to the US Surgeon General’s report, it is estimated that only about 17% of US adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health. The CDC reports there is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved health outcomes.
http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm

Percent of Residents Reporting Ever Being Told They Have a Form of Depression

Worcester
17.6%
State National
16.7% 17.5%
Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011

Why this is important:

The National Prevention Strategy suggests healthcare institutions screen for mental health needs among children and adults, especially those with disabilities and chronic conditions. Evidence has shown that mental disorders, especially depressive disorders, are strongly related to the occurrence, successful treatment and course of many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma and obesity and many risk behaviors for chronic disease; such as, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking and insufficient sleep.

Percent of High School Students Reporting Having Ever Felt Sad or Hopeless for a 2 Week Period

Worcester Region
25.7%
State National
25% 28.5%
Source: Worcester Regional Youth Health Survey 2011, MA YRBS 2011, US YRBS 2011

Why this is important:

The former Surgeon General notes that there are social determinants of mental health as there are social determinants of general health that need to be in place to support mental health. These include adequate housing, safe neighborhoods, equitable jobs and wages, quality education and equity in access to quality healthcare.

 

Tobacco Use

According to the CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services:

According to the CDC, national, state and local program activities have been shown to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use when implemented in concert with each other. They include the following:

  • Counteradvertising mass-media campaigns (i.e., TV and radio commercials, posters and other media messages targeted toward youth to counter protobacco marketing).
  • Community programs and school and college policies and interventions coordinated and implemented in conjunction with efforts to create tobacco-free social norms.
  • Community interventions that reduce tobacco advertising, promotions and commercial availability of tobacco products.
  • Higher costs for tobacco products through increased excise taxes.
  • Prohibiting smoking in worksites and public places.

Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits for you and your loved ones. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting the health of smokers in general.

For support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials and referrals to local resources, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Percent of High School Students Reporting Ever Using Cigarettes

Worcester Region
39%
2020 Goal
Less Than MA Average 
State National
39% 44.7%
Source: Worcester Regional Youth Health Survey 2011, MA YRBS 2011, US YRBS 2011

Why this is important:

Youth tobacco use is a predictor of lifetime use and increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. This value is used in the Greater Worcester Region Community Health Improvement Plan as an indicator of progress in CHIP objective 2.1.

 

 

Percent of Adults Using Cigarettes

Worcester Region
25.2%
2020 Goal
Less Than MA Average 
State National
18.2% 19%
Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011 (18 years old or older)

Why this is important:

Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. Although great progress has been made in tobacco prevention over the past 50 years, there is room for improvement. Research shows there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.

 

 

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental and public health problems.

Moreover, CDC reports, alcohol and other drug use among our nation's youth remains a major public health problem. Substance use and abuse can increase the risk for injuries, violence, HIV infection and other diseases.

According to CDC, youth who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21. Reducing underage drinking will require community-based efforts to monitor the activities of youth and decrease youth access to alcohol.

According to Healthy People 2020, stopping substance abuse before it begins can increase a person's chances of living a longer, healthier and more productive life. Find out more:

Percent of High School Students Reporting Having Ever Used Alcohol

Worcester Region
64%
2020 Goal
Less Than MA Average 
State National
68% 70.8%
Source: Worcester Regional Youth Health Survey 2011, MA YRBS 2011, US YRBS 2011

Why this is important:

Early use of alcohol has been linked to increased risk for future alcohol dependence, substance abuse and participation in risky sexual behaviors. This value is used in the Greater Worcester Region Community Health Improvement Plan as an indicator of progress in CHIP objective 2.2.

 

 

Percent of High School Students Reporting Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Drugs

Worcester Region
14%
2020 Goal
Less Than MA Average 
State National
15% N/A
Source: Worcester Regional Youth Health Survey 2011, MA YRBS 2011, US YRBS 2011

Why this is important:

The National Prevention Strategy suggests implementing programs for reducing drug abuse and educating youth about the risks of drug abuse (including prescription misuse). Research shows that education about the proper use of prescription drugs and the potential for addiction reduces abuse among adolescents and young adults. This value is used in the Greater Worcester Region Community Health Improvement Plan as an indicator of progress in CHIP objective 2.3.

 

Opioid Related Emergency Department Visits Per 100,000

Worcester
322.11 per 100,000
State National
279.31 per 100,000 N/A
Source: MassCHIP, 2011

Why this is important:

Data from SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) indicate that in 2010, opioid pain relievers were involved in 425,247 drug-related visits to the Emergency Department (ED), compared with 224,706 visits linked to heroin (SAMHSA, 2012). A review that also used data from DAWN found that the highest number of ED visits for nonmedical use of prescription drugs were due to the opioid prescription drugs oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone (MMWR, 2010).
Prevention and Reduction of Opioid Misuse in Massachusetts
http://masstapp.edc.org/sites/masstapp.edc.org/files/MassTAPP_MOAPC_Guidance%20Document.pdf

Opioid Related Hospitalizations Per 100,000

Worcester
474.93 per 100,000
State National
343.25 per 100,000 N/A
Source: MassCHIP, 2011

Why this is important:

From 1997 to 2007, the rates of opioid-related inpatient hospital discharges increased from 151.3 to 279.3 per 100,000 (MDPH, 2009). In July 2006 through June 2007, there were 18,015 nonfatal opioid-related hospital discharges among Massachusetts residents. Total charges for inpatient hospitalizations associated with opioid dependence, abuse and/or overdose exceeded $239 million from June 2006 through July 2007.

Opioid Related Fatal Overdoses Per 100,000

Worcester
15.18 per 100,000
2020 Goal
Prevent an Increase in Rate 
State National
8.43 per 100,000 N/A
Source: MassCHIP, 2010

Why this is important:

From 1997 to 2009, the number of opioid-related poisoning deaths increased from 218 to 627 (MDPH, 2012). In 2009, opioid-related overdoses killed more people in the state than motor vehicle-related injuries (627 versus 374 deaths, respectively). This value is used in the Greater Worcester Region Community Health Improvement Plan as an indicator of progress in CHIP objective 2.4.

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