Mental health is a vital component of healthy and productive lives. And increasingly, research shows that the most important contributors to mental health occur outside of a health provider’s office.
Root Causes, a new project developed by the Colorado Health Institute in collaboration with The Colorado Health Foundation connects data on mental health and complex social factors.
Part one of this project offers a snapshot of Colorado. It combines data from a variety of sources to better understand how Colorado communities are faring on both mental health and the social factors that influence it such as housing, income inequality, and racial segregation.
Some findings may not surprise those who have worked in this area for years—for example, the close tie between income and health. We can clearly see the impact of income on access to health care, educational opportunities, and personal safety. Even when accounting for behaviors and health insurance status, socioeconomic status is connected to health outcomes.
But this analysis dives deeper into how some of these relationships happen—for example, identifying connections between income and housing stability, and housing stability and mental health:
Coloradans with stable housing report better mental health.