Mental Health

County-level data and information about the Assessed Health Issue and Social Determinants of Health indicators can be found in the report appendices.

Key Findings

Poor Mental Health and Depression Prevalence 

While the Ozarks Health Commission Region has lower rates of self-reported depression prevalence than the rest of the state, the suicide rates in the Region tell a different story. Self-reported poor mental health days (reported by non-institutionalized adults age 18+) occur at a lower rate than overall depression prevalence. However, this may be indicative of the general mental health underperformance of the Region more than depression prevalence (which is based on Medicare beneficiaries only). For instance, the Mountain View Community has the highest rate of suicide in the OHC Region and the highest percentage of self-reported poor mental health. However, the depression prevalence in this community is the second lowest in the region. Again, this could be tied to a limitation of the depression prevalence data as it is available for Medicare beneficiaries only. 

Suicide Mortality Rate

Rates of death by suicide are 60% higher than the U.S. average (13.9 per 100,000) and 20% higher than the Missouri state average (18.3). There is some variance amongst the Communities in the OHC Region, but each has rates that are more than 25% greater than the national average and between 6-39% higher than the Missouri average. 

Suicide continues to be an ongoing issue in the OHC Region, with recent suicide rates up more than 18% compared to the rate reported five years ago (18.7). Five-year rolling averages show a steady increase of suicide mortality that is occurring at roughly the same pace as the national increase (between 1.7% and 2.3% per year) and slightly slower than the statewide increase (2.2% to 4.7%/year).