Good news: More and more people are talking about mental health – and yet, the state of mental health in the US is “still quite bleak,” according to Mental Health America’s annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures.
According to the report, an estimated 9.8 million adults experience suicidal thoughts – which is 200,000 more people than in 2017. And more than 2 million young people were diagnosed with severe major depression. That doesn’t account for the over 24 million who go untreated.
“Sadly, our report shows that there have been alarming increases in adult suicidal thoughts and major depression in youth,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America, in a statement. “Despite mental health being something that more and more people are talking about – far too many people are still suffering. People are simply not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives – and too many don’t see a way out.”
There is some good news, however: According to the report, there’s been a slight decrease in the number of American adults with mental health concerns (18.19% to 18.07%) or substance use problems (8.76% to 7.93%). In an effort to keep these numbers trending downward, MHA strongly supports integrating mental health services into the education system and says we need to put a premium on early identification and education.
“When young people learn about mental health and that it is an important aspect of overall health and well-being, the likelihood increases they will be able to effectively recognize signs and symptoms in themselves and others will know where to turn for help.” NY’s Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, told reporters. “And it will decrease the stigma that attaches to help-seeking.”
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