Sobering Report on Mental Health

A sobering new mental health report puts Arizona at the bottom of the state rankings and suggests that more than half of all Americans with a mental illness do not get the treatment they need.

Mental Health America (MHA) just released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. Arizona is ranked 50th overall (ahead of only Nevada).

According to the report, a low overall ranking “indicates higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care.”

But Arizona is not the only state struggling. From the Washington Post:

Twenty percent of adults (43.7 million people) have a mental health condition, and more than half of them do not receive treatment. Among youth, the rates of depression are rising, but 80 percent of children and adolescents get either insufficient treatment or none at all.

The infographic below comes from the MHA report. It not only suggests that more than 40 million Americans have a mental health condition, but that a whopping 56% of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment.


Fox News Health quoted Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA, as saying, “Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering, and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives. Mental illness touches everyone. We must improve access to care and treatments, and we need to put a premium on early identification and early intervention for everyone with mental health concerns.”

Becker’s Hospital Review listed six additional findings from the report.

  • In states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, 13 percent of people with mental health conditions remain uninsured, compared to 19 percent in states that did not expand Medicaid.
  • There are more than 1.2 million people currently in prison with a mental health condition. Lack of access to mental healthcare is linked to higher rates of incarceration.
  • About 60 percent of young people with major depression do not receive any type of mental health treatment.
  • Based on the mental health and access measures, Mental Health America researchers determined Connecticut is No. 1 and Nevada is No. 51 for adults with mental health conditions. States with high rankings have lower prevalence of mental illness among adults and higher rates of access to care.
  • For youth with mental health conditions, Minnesota is No. 1 and Arkansas is No. 51. States with high rankings have lower prevalence of mental illness among youth and higher rates of access to care.
  • In states with the lowest workforce, there is just one mental health professional per 1,000 individuals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors and psychiatric nurses combined.

Share your thoughts on this new report and how, you believe, we can begin to change the numbers here in Arizona. Working together to find innovative solutions to the health issues Arizonans face is a key piece of our long-term goal to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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