Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month, which occurred on May, reminds of the millions of people who fight against depressive disorders. These types of disorders can seriously and substantially affect the mental health and wellness of those who suffer from them. It is imperative to be able to properly identify and diagnose depressive disorders in order to provide the most beneficial and timely treatment to patients, and to ultimately give them the best chance at short- and long-term improved mental health. Coping skills are behaviors and characteristics that enhance a person’s ability to adapt to their particular condition or circumstance.


The objective of this post is to provide insight into the prevalence of depressive disorders in Puerto Rico. This type of information can be useful for institutional strategies and activities such as: understanding how to best allocate human or economic resources toward depressive disorders, determining associated risk factors, developing scientific hypotheses for continued research into the disease’s etiology, or even developing strategies for mental health prevention and treatment.


In an effort to survey many types of social, demographic, disease, and behavioral outcomes in the United States and its associated territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) administers numerous population-based surveys. The information used to estimate depressive disorders in this report came from the 2017 version of the population-based survey regularly administered by the CDC known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Depressive Disorder prevalence is surveyed by the BRFSS using the following question: Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional ever told you that you had a depressive disorder, including depression, major depression, dysthymia, or minor depression?

The complete methodology used to conduct the analyses shown in this post can be found here.

Statistical Remarks

The following statistical remarks highlight the most meaningful differences among a selected group of demographic variables based on a logistic regression model. We encourage you to refer to the tables here for a more in-depth look at depressive disorder prevalence in Puerto Rico.

An estimated 498,472 (18.1%) adults in Puerto Rico had a depressive disorder  in 2017.

When evaluating depressive disorders by age group, adults in the 45-54 and 55-64 group had a 3.45 and 2.94 times higher likelihood, respectively, of reporting having a depressive disorder than the 18-24 group (p-value < 0.05).

Among all adults, females had a 58% higher likelihood of reporting having a depressive disorder compared to males (p-value < 0.05).

In terms of education level, high school graduates had a 33% lower likelihood of reporting having a depressive disorder than those who completed only some high school (p-value < 0.05).

Those with an annual income of $25k – <$35k were 57% more likely to report having had depressive disorder than those whose annual income was less than $14,999 (p-value > 0.05).

Those who reported being divorced or separated were 90% and 89% more likely, respectively, to report having had a depressive disorder compared to those who reported being married.

Adults who were out of work for more than one year, homemakers, retirees, and those unable to work group were 2.29, 1.57, 4.19, and 13.2 times more likely, respectively, to report having had depressive disorder compared to those who reported being employed for wages.

In case of a possible emotional crisis, Puerto Rico has a support and counseling hotline for those dealing with these types of issues, Línea PAS (in Spanish, Primera Ayuda Psicosocial) 1-800-981-0023.  

Data Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey

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Cite as follows: “Blog title”, Outcome Project, LLC., posting date,, access date (Date Accessed).

Disclaimer: The Outcome measures in this post were calculated by Outcome Project, LLC using our own resources to advance our mission of providing tools and information to support and inspire data-driven decision making. No private or government institution has any involvement in the development of this blog.

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