See which counties received top marks for mental health in the 2022 Healthiest Communities rankings.
Mental Health Havens
The connection between mental and physical health is well recognized. A person’s emotional and psychological well-being have an impact on their likelihood of engaging in risky health behaviors like smoking or drug use, and poor mental health has been associated with a range of physical health outcomes, from chronic illness to life expectancy.
The 2022 Healthiest Communities rankings project from U.S. News assesses the health and well-being of nearly 3,000 U.S. counties and county equivalents across the country using dozens of metrics that fall into 10 categories, including population health, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure.
As part of the analysis, communities received a score on a 100-point scale tied to how they performed relative to one another on three mental health metrics that largely predate the COVID-19 pandemic: the rate of deaths from suicide, alcohol-related disease and drug overdoses – known as “deaths of despair” – per 100,000 population; the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with depression; and the share of adults who’ve reported frequent mental distress, meaning their mental health was not good during 14 or more days in the past month. For each metric, a lower raw value indicates a better performance and will translate to a better score.
Based on those scores, these are the 25 best communities for mental health, as well as the mental health measures in which they most excelled and how they fared overall in the Healthiest Communities rankings.