Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Matthew Heard

Second Advisor

Carole South-Winter

Third Advisor

Mark Yockey


emergency, mental health, substance abuse, emergency department

Subject Categories

Emergency Medicine | Health and Medical Administration | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Other Mental and Social Health | Other Public Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry


Research has shown that current quantities of emergency department visits for mental health and substance use are increasing at a startling rate. These increases are acknowledged in quantitative studies and some important information can be gathered from qualitative studies however determining specific causes for these emergent visits are difficult. The purpose of this study is to derive findings from statistical analyses focusing on quantities of emergency department visits for mental health and substance use disorders. Comparisons will be drawn at the state level between the per capita quantity of emergency department visits and poverty rate, climate, psychiatric healthcare infrastructure, urban vs. rural population, and the number of individuals seeking outpatient psychiatric care. Data analysis is performed using a least squares regression analysis which determines the strength of the relationship between two factors. The results are a mixture of significant and insignificant findings; the most interesting is the positive relationship between emergent mental health and substance use visits when compared with and the percent of the state deemed rural by the U.S. census bureau. Meaning that the greater percentage of the state is deemed rural, the greater amount of per capita mental health and substance use emergencies.


Keywords: Mental health, Emergency department, Substance abuse



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.