Which states are better for mental health?


Mental Health America published “The State of Mental Health in America 2023,” a report that looks at the prevalence of mental illness in the United States and how much access to mental health care is available in each state. Using these data and other measures, each state, including the District of Colombia, was ranked from best to worst in mental health.

Research purpose

Mental Health America believes that advocating for better mental health for Americans requires research to identify areas of need across the country.

“We believe that collecting and providing up-to-date data and information about the disparities faced by people with mental health problems is a tool for change,” the report says.

Their goal in completing this research is to identify areas of need within the country to “understand how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation and policy, and to increase dialogue and improve outcomes for individuals and families in need.” of mental health”.

Key results

  • The report found that in 2019-2020, 20.78% of adults in the US suffered from a mental illness, which is equivalent to more than 50 million people.
  • More than half (54.7%) of adults with mental illness do not receive treatment.
  • More than 1 in 10 youth in the US currently experiences depression that affects their ability to function at work or school, or within their families and social lives.
  • There are 350 people for every mental health provider in the United States.


The report used public health data for both adults and youth and ranked states based on overall mental health quality, taking into account the size of each state.

To rank the states, 15 measures were used to form the overall ranking:

  1. Adults with any mental illness.
  2. Adults with substance use disorder in the past year.
  3. Adults with serious thoughts of suicide.
  4. Young people with at least one major depressive episode in the last year.
  5. Young people with substance use disorder in the last year.
  6. Young people with severe major depressive episodes.
  7. Adults with any mental illness who did not receive treatment.
  8. Adults with a mental illness who report unmet needs.
  9. Adults with any mental illness who do not have insurance.
  10. Adults who reported more than 14 mentally unhealthy days per month that they were unable to see a doctor due to cost.
  11. Youth with major depressive episodes who did not receive mental health services.
  12. Young people with severe major depressive episodes who received some consistent treatment.
  13. Young people with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional problems.
  14. Students in grades K-12 who have been identified as emotionally disturbed for an individualized education program.
  15. Ability of the mental health workforce.


Based on the data and criteria listed, these are the US states, including Washington, DC, ranked from best to worst for overall mental health.

  1. Wisconsin.
  2. Pennsylvania.
  3. Massachusetts.
  4. Delaware.
  5. Connecticut.
  6. New Jersey.
  7. District of Colombia.
  8. New York.
  9. Illinois.
  10. Maryland.
  11. Kentucky.
  12. Vermont.
  13. Rhode Island.
  14. New Hampshire.
  15. South Carolina.
  16. North Carolina.
  17. Michigan.
  18. Hawaii.
  19. California.
  20. Iowa.
  21. North Dakota.
  22. New Mexico.
  23. Oklahoma.
  24. Georgia.
  25. Mississippi.
  26. Maine.
  27. Tennessee.
  28. Minnesota.
  29. Snowfall.
  30. Colorado.
  31. Mountain.
  32. Washington.
  33. Ohio.
  34. Alaska.
  35. Florida.
  36. Louisiana.
  37. South Dakota.
  38. Virginia.
  39. Indiana.
  40. Missouri.
  41. Utah.
  42. West Virginia.
  43. Arkansas.
  44. Nebraska.
  45. Wyoming.
  46. Texas.
  47. Idaho.
  48. Alabama.
  49. Arizona.
  50. Oregon.
  51. Kansas.


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