The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

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GVL Briefs

GV Health Check In shows mental health in Michigan continues to decline

Reported by GVNext, the state of mental health sloped downward in Michigan following the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Grand Valley State University researchers have studied and collected data recently publishing their work.

According to their projections, the mental health decline in Michigan has actually worsened since the end of the pandemic.

Faculty and staff at GVSU have recently come forward with their findings regarding mental health, suicide and drug overdose rates for the state of Michigan since the pandemic. This data is showing heightened levels of “poor mental health days,” particularly for people of color in West Michigan and Detroit.

The mental health data was presented at the 15th annual West Michigan Health Care Economic Forecast. Ermen Aslim, assistant professor of economics at GVSU, said the data trends collected by the Siedman College of Business and the Kirkhof College of Nursing could be nearly double the rate of poor mental health in Michigan in 2019.

“It tells a story that mental health exasperation can be linked with more opioid use and a higher suicide rate,” Aslim said.

Daniel Montanera, assistant professor of economics, said emergency visits in Detroit and Grand Rapids also spiked in 2021. This was noteworthy because, for the first time, the city of Grand Rapids nearly matched the historically high emergency room visits for the city of Detroit.

The conference took place on Feb. 10 at the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health in Grand Rapids. The event was sponsored by Priority Health and the Blue Cross Blue Shield/Blue Care Network, according to GVNext.

The data and research presented at the conference is posted publicly on the GVSU website under “Health Economic Forecast” under the Bonnie Wesorick Center for Health Care Transformation page. Previous years’ Health Check data are also available to the public on the website.

The mental health forecast provides a snapshot for mental stability and personal health welfare in the state of Michigan.

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About the Contributor
Emma Armijo, News Editor
Emma Armijo is the Lanthorn's News editor for the 2023-24 year. She previously worked with the Lanthorn for a year and a half as a news staff writer before joining the editorial team as the Arts and Entertainment editor in the winter of 2023. Emma enjoys all things creative like dance, music and drawing. Her aspirations after college include working as a professional in the dance industry and writing for a major print news organization, The New York Times. Graduating Winter 2025 Majors: Multimedia Journalism, Dance