Mental health of Americans worsening, reveals MHA report

Mental health of Americans worsening, reveals MHA report

Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, cognitive and psychological well-being. It influences the way a person thinks, acts and feels. A person with sound mental health is less likely to feel stressed. Chances are high that he/she will remain happy even in the face of adversaries compared to someone suffering from a mental health problem. Individuals with mental peace will be able to attain success at work, harmony in relationships and more importantly, self-confidence. In contrast, someone who has an unattended mental health problem will often be at war with himself/herself and remain discordant with the surroundings.

In its annual mental health report, the Mental Health America (MHA) provided a snapshot of the state of the mental health across all the states in America. MHA is a community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with mental illness. Overall, the state of Massachusetts topped the list. The rankings were based on the prevalence of mental illness and access to care. The other five states that remained at the top were:

  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Vermont
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa

On the other hand, the states that fared badly were:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Arizona
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada

18 percent of American adults battling mental illness

The state that stood at the first position in adult rankings was again Massachusetts, while Utah bagged the last position. In terms of youth rankings, South Dakota fared better than Massachusetts, which ranked at number four.

Prevalence of mental illness and substance use was high in the states of Indiana, Rhode Island, Colorado, New Hampshire and Oregon (ranked 51). States that ranked high were Hawaii, Georgia, North Dakota and Texas. Vermont fared best in access to care rankings meaning it had better insurance and access to treatment facilities while Mississippi stood last in the list at 51.

The MHA used 15 measures to arrive at the conclusion. Some of these are:

  • Adults exhibiting signs of Any Mental Illness (AMI)
  • Adults and youth with Alcohol Dependence and Illicit Drugs Use (Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine)
  • Adults with Serious Thoughts of Suicide
  • Youth who experienced a Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in past year and who did not receive mental health services
  • Availability of mental health workforce

Overall, the state of mental health in America is a cause of concern. The report stated that 18 percent of American adults face a mental health problem annually. This is equivalent to 43 million Americans. Anxiety and depression are common occurrences with 4.2 million people struggling with an anxiety disorder and 16 million living with major depression.

Alarmingly, the report mentioned that there has been a rapid increase in mental illness among youth especially, in the rates of depression. Unfortunately, 76 percent youth living with severe depression did not get the appropriate treatment. According to Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, MHA, “Far too many young people are suffering in silence. They are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives – and too many simply don’t see a way out.”

Sound mental health improves quality of life      

Happy and mentally alert people not only fare well in life but also have stable relationships with their peers, friends, spouses and colleagues. They are also an important asset for their employers. Good mental health also reduces the medical costs as mentally healthy people are less likely to fall ill. Therefore, it pays to ensure that citizens are happier and less fraught by ensuring access to mental health care services.

Mental illnesses are treatable, provided one seeks timely help. Fear of stigma and discrimination should not deter someone from getting the necessary support and ending their struggles. Sovereign Health is a leading mental health and substance abuse treatment provider for both adults and adolescents in the U.S. Our mental health rehabilitation centers in California cater to the unique needs of patients through evidence-based treatment. If you suspect that you or your loved one manifests any symptoms of a mental health disorder, it is best to consult an expert. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-973-7164 or chat with a trained specialist to know about our state-of-the-art mental health facilities in California, offering holistic recovery programs.

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