Residents of These 11 US States Are Severely Suffering With Poor Mental Health

Mental health is a pressing concern that touches the lives of millions of individuals across the United States. Understanding the prevalence of mental illness and state-specific challenges is crucial for developing effective strategies to address this complex issue.

In this article, we delve into key statistics regarding mental health in the U.S., highlighting the prevalence of mental illnesses, the impact of serious mental illness (SMI), and state-specific data.

Prevalence of Mental Illness

Approximately 22.8% of U.S. adults, aged 18 or older, grapple with Any Mental Illness (AMI), encompassing various mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders. This staggering figure equates to an estimated 57.8 million adults.

Residents of These 11 US States Are Severely Suffering With Poor Mental Health

Interestingly, the prevalence of AMI is higher among females (27.2%) compared to males (18.1%). Young adults aged 18-25 face the highest prevalence of AMI at 33.7%.

Additionally, there are notable variations among racial/ethnic groups, with the highest prevalence reported among individuals identifying with two or more races (34.9%) and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) adults (26.6%), while it is lowest among Asian adults (16.4%).

Serious Mental Illness (SMI)

Serious Mental Illness (SMI) refers to mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders leading to substantial functional impairment, significantly interfering with major life activities. The burden of mental illnesses is particularly concentrated among those experiencing disability due to SMI. These individuals face substantial challenges in maintaining a fulfilling and functional life.

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State-Specific Data

Mental health challenges are not evenly distributed across the United States. State-specific data reveals significant disparities in the prevalence of adult mental illness. For instance, New Jersey reports a prevalence rate of 16.37%, while Utah faces a higher rate of 26.86%. These percentages represent the proportion of adults grappling with mental illness in each respective state.

StateMental Health Prevalence
West Virginia26.05%
Rhode Island24.12%

Also Read:

Annual State of Mental Health Report

Residents of These 11 US States Are Severely Suffering With Poor Mental Health

Mental Health America (MHA) compiles valuable insights by ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on various mental health and access measures. Detailed information is available in their annual State of Mental Health Report. These rankings provide a comprehensive overview of each state’s performance in addressing mental health challenges and highlight areas where improvements may be needed.


Mental health is a multifaceted and complex issue affecting millions of Americans. Understanding the prevalence of mental illnesses and state-specific challenges is pivotal in developing targeted interventions and fostering a supportive environment. Initiatives that promote awareness, reduce stigma and ensure access to appropriate care and support are essential for creating a society where mental health is prioritized, and individuals receive the help they need to lead fulfilling lives.

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