OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Researchers with Zippia, a resource website for job seekers, says Oklahoma tops the list of states with most despair.
The study was based on the following five categories: depression rate, suicide rate, opioid use, poverty rate and hours worked, all things that researchers say Oklahoma didn’t score well on.
“Oklahoma across the board kind of had low numbers which is a little unusual,” Kathy Morris with Zippia told KFOR. “I wish there was one area we could say Oklahoma needs to focus on to reduce the general rate of despair.”
Zippia says Oklahoma ranked sixth for opioid prescriptions, and had a depression rate just outside of the Top 10, but they still thought it was surprising to see Oklahoma ranked number one.
“We usually see more of a regional focus,” Morris said. “So, Oklahoma being on top with this cluster of southern states isn’t what I anticipated.”
Local experts tell KFOR it isn’t that surprising. Oklahoma has been behind the rest of the country in these areas for a while.
“Oklahoma has ranked in the top 25 percent in a lot of social areas like obesity,” Licensed Therapist Harold Rayfield told KFOR. “We have one of the highest incarceration rates for women, we’ve also had issues in terms of depression and suicide.”
Rayfield says for someone who is struggling, the most important thing to do is lean on a support system of family and friends so you don’t feel alone.
“If you start to feel a little upset, or down, depressed, or you feel like your anxiety is increasing, you need to be able to communicate and reach out to other people,” Rayfield said. “So they understand and know what’s going on.”
Click here for Zippia’s ‘States with the Most Despair’ study.