Mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent in North America. According to 2016 statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in four people will experience some form of mental or behavioral health problem each year. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released similar results, stating that about 20 percent of Canadians experience a mental disorder each year, and about 1 percent deal with them on a chronic basis, meaning they require either treatment or support daily.
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How Does Mental Health Impact the State of Our Bodies?
- Chronic Diseases
A chronic illness is a condition that lasts long, beyond the normal course of an illness. This can also include health issues such as diabetes and cancer. Any disease or condition in which signs and symptoms persist over a long period, such as hormonal imbalance, is considered a chronic illness. There are more than 100 million people in the U.S. who suffer from some chronic illness. As mentioned previously, mental health issues have reached epidemic levels around the world and are increasing with every passing year. The medications used to treat anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders can have fatal results if taken over an extended period or without the necessary supervision from your doctor or medical professional.
- Heart Attacks and Strokes
One of the most common symptoms of depression is stress. Stress can exacerbate existing medical conditions and lead to heart attacks and strokes. A lack of sleep due to worry over an issue or event is also a major factor in these kinds of events, not to mention other factors such as smoking and poor diet. These issues can lead to high blood pressure and a weakened immune system, which increases your risk of catching viruses like the cold or flu. Couple this with a sedentary lifestyle, and you are at even more risk for illness and heart problems.
- Bad habits
Bad habits, such as smoking and drinking to excess, also lead to major health problems. If you smoke cigarettes, you are at risk of developing lung cancer. In addition to that, nicotine is a major trigger for heart disease. Smoking alone accounts for approximately 440,000 deaths per year in the U.S., and more than 16 million people suffer from tobacco-related illnesses and diseases. On average, alcohol consumption leads to 88,000 deaths every year in the United States alone. Drinking too much contributes to high blood pressure (hypertension), which raises your risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack when lying down or relaxing in bed at night or during the day.
- Less Access to Adequate Health and Self Care
Obtaining adequate medical treatment and health care is also at a low point in North America, with approximately $1.5 trillion spent on healthcare each year in the U.S. Yet, only 50 percent of patients receive proper treatment. Ninety-eight percent of Canadians have not received the recommended preventive medical care, according to CIHI statistics released in July 2016 by Statistics Canada. It is important to have good health insurance so that you can receive proper medical attention when you need it most.
Cities for Mental Health by Researchers
The Mile High City is one of the best places to live in the United States for overall health and well-being, according to researchers at WalletHub. The report evaluated 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 29 key indicators of overall health and well-being. Denver ranks near the top in terms of availability of physicians, quality of life, and overall healthcare system strength and wellness offerings. Snowboarders, skiers, and mountain bikers have access to hundreds of miles of trails at dozens of resorts around the city — along with more than 300 days each year with temperatures above 50 degrees.
- Salt Lake City,
One of the top U.S. cities for overall health and well-being is Salt Lake City, Utah, according to researchers at WalletHub. The ultra-conservative Mormon enclave ranked first in terms of its low healthcare costs and high quality of life. In addition to having the second lowest rate of poverty compared with other U.S. metro areas, it also features one of the country’s lowest rates of violent crime and foreclosure rates. With a population density ranked among the lowest in the country, it is also a great place to live if you are looking for a home with lots of room for outdoor activities and plenty of available outdoor activities when snow falls throughout the wintertime.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks third among U.S. cities for overall health and well-being, according to WalletHub. The Twin Cities city can boast of a low violent crime rate, high air quality due to the large number of trees in the area, and a low unemployment rate. With more than 300 days per year with temperatures above 50 degrees, it is also a great place to move if you are looking for a place that has lots of indoor activities as well as outdoor activities when snow falls throughout the wintertime.
Seattle is one of the best U.S. cities for overall health and well-being, according to WalletHub. The city is home to more than 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of protected green space known as the Seattle Parks and Recreation District, which includes more than 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of parkland and 830 acres (350 hectares) of open space with free access for all residents and visitors. Seattle offers a wide range of healthcare options with a low cost and high-quality rating on hospitals compared with other U.S. cities — factors that contribute to its top ranking in this category. In addition, the city has a low rate of crime and unemployment, along with one of the lowest smoking rates in the nation.
The city of Hartford, Connecticut, is one of the best U.S. cities for overall health and well-being, according to WalletHub. The state capital and metro area has some of the lowest rates of smoking and violent crime in the country and boasts top-notch hospital quality with affordable costs relative to other U.S. cities — factors that contribute to its top ranking in this category.
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