Percentage of people who report 5 or more poor mental health days within the last 30 days
This measure highlights the percentage of Travis County residents who reported having 5 or more days of poor mental health within the past 30 days.
In 2021, 32.3% of Travis County residents reported experiencing 5 or more days of poor mental health. This value is slightly higher than the prevalence of poor mental health days for Texas residents at 26.4% for the same year. Since 2020 was the year of the greatest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this increase is not unexpected.
A 10% decrease from the 2018 prevalence of poor mental health (23.8%) would mean that no more than 21.4% of residents report 5+ days of poor mental health a month by 2023.
Please Note*: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) collects data from non-institutionalized U.S. adult residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. The primary purpose of the survey is to provide population-based estimates for chronic disease and the associated risk factors for Travis County residents. As a result, data from BRFSS are estimates of the prevalence of any specified condition.
Over time the prevalence of poor mental health among residents has fluctuated. The variation is visible within the examined ten year period. From 2011 to 2021, there has been a greater than 25% increase in the report of poor mental health from 17% of residents in 2011 to to 32.3% of residents in 2021.
Austin Public Health works in collaboration with the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to advance mental wellness for Travis County residents. The current CHIP objectives include:
- Working to decrease excessive drinking and substance use disorders by identifying, screening, and providing intervention for vulnerable populations.
- Training providers on trauma informed care as well as how to make appropriate referrals.
- Developing an online resource tool to assist providers in making referrals to mental and behavioral health resources.
- Pairing mental health workers with established mobile outreach teams to provide additional support.
- Advocating for enhanced behavioral health benefits covered by the Medical Access Program (MAP).
Note: to see the underlying data for this chart, please select the "View Source Data" link to the left.
Additional Measure Insights
Selected demographic characteristics from the 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) are presented below. This data shows higher reports of poor mental health in females than in males. As age group increases, there is a lower prevalence of poor mental health. Those identifying as Black, Non-Hispanic have a highest prevalence of poor mental health status. Younger people in Travis county reported significantly worse mental health than any other age group with over half of residents aged 18 -29 reporting poor mental health during 2021.
Other demographics were also examined within this measure. While there is not a large difference in reported poor mental health during 2021 when comparing employment status and income status, there are slight differences within education and income. College graduates have a lower prevalence of poor mental health as well as individuals with income levels above $50,000 annually. Residents with a disability (52%) were signficantly more likely to report poor mental health than those without a disability (27%).
Measure Details and Definition
1) Definition: This is a measure of the prevalence of residents in Travis County who have experienced 5 or more days of poor mental health in the past 30 days. This mental health measure is self reported and is assessed through the administration of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey.
2) Calculation method: The measure is calculated by dividing the number of residents who reported having 5 or more days of poor mental health in the past 30 days by the total number of residents surveyed. The data collected from the survey is weighted so that the survey data can be estimated for the population as a whole.
3) Data Collection Process: The data is collected via telephone survey administered by Texas Department of State Health Services on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
4) Measure Target Calculation: 80.1% of people report good or better mental health, Healthy People 2020. This Healthy People 2020 objective was used as a reference point to estimate the goal that no more than 19.9% of people report poor mental health. A 10% decrease from the 2018 prevalence of poor mental health for 2023 would mean that no more than 21.4% of residents report 5+ days of poor mental health a month. Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals and objectives aimed to improve health promotion and disease prevention. For more information on Healthy People 2020, visit https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020
5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Data is collected every year, with a two year lag.
Date page was last updated: December 2022