Best and Worst Mental Health Rankings By State

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Every few years, Mental Health America conducts an evaluation of the overall mental health status within every state in the USA. The last study done in 2014 is quite interesting and ranks the states based on overall mental health among adults and youth, as well as access to care.

Here is the criteria the study used:

A high overall ranking indicates lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care. A low overall ranking indicates higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. The combined scores of all 15 measures make up the overall ranking.  The overall ranking includes both adult and youth measures as well as prevalence and access to care measures. 

The 15 measures that make up the overall ranking include:

  1. Adults with Any Mental Illness (AMI)

  2. Adults with Dependence or Abuse of Illicit Drugs or Alcohol

  3. Adults with Serious Thoughts of Suicide

  4. Youth with At Least one Past Year Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

  5. Youth with Dependence or Abuse of Illicit Drugs or Alcohol

  6. Youth with Severe MDE

  7. Adults with AMI who Did Not Receive Treatment

  8. Adults with AMI Reporting Unmet Need

  9. Adults with AMI who are Uninsured

  10. Adults with Disability who Could Not See a Doctor Due to Costs

  11. Youth with MDE who Did Not Receive Mental Health Services

  12. Youth with Severe MDE who Received Some Consistent Treatment

  13. Children with Private Insurance that Did Not Cover Mental or Emotional Problems

  14. Students Identified with Emotional Disturbance for an Individualized Education Program

  15. Mental Health Workforce Availability

Below are the results of the study. The connecting lines in the point to several changes among those states that have significant movement in ranking. Take a look at where your state falls in overall mental health ranking!

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