Using ESSENCE to Meet Local Needs for Mental Health Data: Query & Results


Mental health is a common and costly concern; it is estimated that nearly 20 percent of adults in the United States live with a mental illness [1] and that more money is spent on mental illness than any other medical condition [2]. One spillover effect of unmet mental health needs may be increasing emergency department utilization. National analysis by Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H-CUP) found a 55% increase in emergency department visits for depression, anxiety, and stress reactions between 2006- 2013 [3]. Local public health agencies (LPHAs) can play an important role in reducing costs and burden associated with mental illness. There is opportunity to use emergency department data at a local level to monitor trends and evaluate the effectiveness of local strategies. ESSENCE, available in 31 states, provides near-real time observation-level emergency department data, which can be analyzed and disseminated according to local needs. Using ESSENCE data from 6 local counties in Colorado, we developed methods to estimate the overall burden of mental health and specific mental health disorders seen in the emergency department.

Objective: In order to meet local mental health surveillance needs, we created multiple mental health-related indicators using emergency department data from the Colorado North Central Region (CO-NCR) Early Notification of Community Based Epidemics (ESSENCE), a Syndromic Surveillance (SyS) platform.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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