Annual health report shows worse mental health outcomes

Negative mental health outcomes in Michigan have seen a slight increase despite increased access to care in the state, according to a study by Grand Valley State University.

The GVSU health check report analyzed data from Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegon counties. The study looked at multiple health and economic factors over the course of 2018 and 2019.


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The report determined that around 14 percent more residents of the western Michigan counties and Detroit reported that they often had “poor mental health days”.

“The rate of self-reported mental health issues has remained fairly stable across time. In 2018, KOMA experienced a slight uptick,” the report said.

Worse mental health outcomes come as access to healthcare decreased but use of telehealth increased. Western Michigan and southeast Michigan each saw a 6 percent decrease in their population with health insurance in 2018. Use of telehealth saw a large increase in 2019 despite the loses in health insurance.

The report comes as a separate study from the University of Michigan shows that psychiatric patients reacted positively to telehealth and are likely to continue to use it even after the COVID-19 pandemic.