(KXNET) — If you’re looking for a place to live that is good for your mental health, North Dakota is a good choice.
The state ranks among the top 10 states that are best for your mental health, according to an in-depth study by health care staffing and research company Soliant Health.
The study was commissioned to better understand the disparities in mental health support in communities and schools nationwide, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports one in five Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
Soliant worked with healthcare professionals to consider a wider range of factors that impact mental health at all ages, in addition to factors regarding the ability to engage in good mental health practices.
The categories used to determine the overall mental health of a state included:
- The frequency of “bad mental health days” reported by the existing population
- Access to mental health providers
- Suicide rate of 15-24 age group
- Unemployment rate
- Violent crime rate
- Disconnected youth rate, which is teens and young adults aged 16-19 who are neither working nor in school
- Access to exercise opportunities, including public parks, recreation facilities, and YMCAs
- Air pollution, to offset states with limited access to exercise opportunities due to rural landscapes and larger bodies of nature or protected land
The top-ranking states best meet the mental health needs of the population, for example, by providing emotional support for school students and sufficient access to exercise opportunities so that people can engage in good mental health practices. These top-ranking states also had lower unemployment rates, suicide rates, violent crime rates, and air pollution. The report also considered the number of “mentally unhealthy days” reported by the population and the level of access to mental health providers, ensuring individuals can receive the care they need.
The Soliant 2023 Best States for Mental Health report revealed that the best state for mental health is Nebraska, collecting 85.2 of the total 100 points possible across the eight mental health categories.
North Dakota takes the #9 spot in the top 10.
Coming in last, West Virginia had the highest average number of mentally unhealthy days reported by residents in the past 30 days. The state also has the least access to exercise opportunities.
You can view the complete study, along with its methodology, here.