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The State of Mental Health in America

Mental Health Facts, Stats, and Data

Mental Health America is committed to promoting mental health as a critical part of overall wellness. We advocate for prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated services, care and treatment for those who need it, and recovery as the goal. 

We believe that gathering and providing up-to-date data and information about disparities faced by individuals with mental health problems is a tool for change.

Mental Health Facts 2017

Mental Health in America 2017


The State of Mental Health in America

In the above links you will find a Collection of Data across all 50 states and the District of Columbia answering the following questions:

  • How many adults and youth have mental health issues?
  • How many adults and youth have substance use issues?
  • How many adults and youth have access to insurance?
  • How many adults and youth have access to adequate insurance?
  • How many adults and youth have access to mental health care?
  • Which states have higher barriers to accessing mental health care?

Our Goal:

  • To provide a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation;
  • To track changes in prevalence of mental health issues and access to mental health care;
  • To understand how changes in natinoal data reflect the impact of legislation and policies; and.
  • To increase dialogue and improve outcomes for individuals and families with mental health needs

Why Gather this Information?

  • Using national survey data allows us to measure a community’s mental health needs, access to care, and outcomes regardless of the differences between the states and their varied mental health policies.
  • Rankings explore which states are more effective at addressing issues related to mental health and substance use.
  • Analysis may reveal similarities and differences among states in order to begin assessing how federal and state mental health policies result in more or less access to care.

Key Findings

  • 1 in 5 Adults have a mental health condition. That's over 40 million Americans; more than the populations of New York and Florida combined.
  • Youth mental health is worsening. Rates of youth depression increased from 8.5% in 2011 to 11.1% in 2014. Even with severe depression, 80% of youth are left with no or insufficient treatment
  • More Americans have access to services... Access to insurance and treatment increased, as healthcare reform has reduced the rates of uninsured adults. 19% of adults remain uninsued in states that did not expand Medicaid. 13% of adults remain uninsured in states that did expand Medicaid.
  • ...But most Americans still lack access to care. 56% of American adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment. Even in Vermont, the state with the best access, 43% of adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment.
  • There is a serious mental health workforce shortage. In states with the lowest workforce, there's only 1 mental health professional per 1,000 individuals. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses combined.
  • Less access to care means more incarceration. Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had the least access to care and highest rates of imprisonment. There are over 57,000 people with mental health conditions in prison and jail in those states alone. That's enough to fill Madison Square Garden three times.


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