Mental health is one of the most prominent issues we face as a population in the United States and around the world. It affects people of all ages, genders, education levels, incomes and walks of life. Data shows that nearly one in five American adults suffers from a mental health disorder. Depression, anxiety and panic disorders are some of the most common.

The month of May marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month, a period of time to educate people about the importance of mental health and the resources available on a national and local scale. Statistically, spring is the most challenging and dangerous season for people who suffer from mental health disorders.

As time progresses, the stigma around mental health has improved and access to treatment has expanded. Nevertheless, it’s still important to stay informed about how mental health can impact yourself and the emotional wellbeing of your loved ones.

Key mental health statistics

Living with a mental health disorder can feel isolating, but statistics show that people who experience mental distress are not alone. Here are some figures about mental health, who it affects and how many people receive treatment:

Mental Health America Statistics
Mental Health America (MHA) publishes an annual study, called The State Of Mental Health In America. Here are some key statistics from the 2022 report:
  • Over 50% of Americans living with a mental illness do not receive treatment for their disorder, leaving more than 27 million people without mental health care.
  • More than 60% of kids and young adults with major depression do not receive treatment. Even in states with good access to mental health care, almost one in three children do not get professional help.
  • The rate of substance abuse is increasing among adolescents and adults. An estimated 7.74% of adults and 4.08% of youth have been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder.
  • More than 8% of kids with private health insurance do not have coverage for mental health treatment.
  • Over 11% of Americans who suffer from a mental health disorder are uninsured. 2022 is the second consecutive year that this rate has increased since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed.
  • In the last year alone, more than 15% of youth experienced a major depressive episode.
  • White youth suffering from depression are the most likely to receive treatment. Asian youth are the least likely to receive treatment for their disorder.
World Population Review Statistics
The World Population Review compiles data on mental health across the world. Here are some facts from 2022:
  • Anxiety was the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting roughly 40 million people nationwide.
  • Although anxiety disorders are treatable, less than 40% of people who suffer actually receive treatment from a mental health professional.
  • For people who suffer from one mental health condition, it’s common to develop a second disorder. For example, many people who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder also experience depression.
National Institute of Mental Health Statistics
Here are some figures from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
  • Almost one in five adults suffers from a mental illness.
  • Females are more likely than males to experience mental health disorders. Roughly 25.8% of women experience any mental illness (AMI), whereas 15.8% of men experience AMI.
  • Young adults between the ages of 18-25 have the highest rates of AMI compared to adults aged 26-49 years old and individuals over 50.
National Alliance on Mental Health Statistics
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) published the following mental health data points in 2022:
  • Mood disorders are the most common reason for hospitalization in the United States for people under age 45 (excluding maternity care).
  • An estimated 15.3% of United States veterans experienced a mental illness in 2019, which equates to roughly 31.3 million people.
  • Each year, 47.4% of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual suffer from mental health disorders.
  • High school students with severe depression symptoms are more than twice as likely to drop out, compared to their peers who do not suffer from depression.
  • About 17.3% of non-Hispanic black or African Americans are diagnosed with a mental health disorder each year. Only 37.1% of people in this demographic receive treatment.

Accessibility of mental health treatment by state

The availability of mental health treatment is expanding across the country. However, access to treatment is better in some states than others. To identify which states have the best and worst access to mental health treatment and insurance, MHA put together a unique rating system using 2022 data (these rankings are subject to change).

To calculate these scores, MHA considered some of the following criteria for each state (not an exhaustive list):

  • Number of adults with a mental illness who did not receive treatment or whose insurance did not cover their treatment.
  • Number of mental health professionals working in the state.
  • Number of kids with major depressive episode(s) who did not receive treatment.
  • Number of kids with severe major depressive episode(s) who received consistent treatment.

States with the least access to mental health treatment

Rank (least access) State
#1 Texas
#2 Alabama
#3 Florida
#4 Georgia
#5 Mississippi

States with the most access to mental health treatment

Rank (most access) State
#1 Vermont
#2 Massachusetts
#3 Maine
#4 Wisconsin
#5 Minnesota

Pervasiveness of mental health issues by state

When it comes to research and data collection, mental health rates can be quantified in different ways. For example, some studies only count people who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder by a professional. Others include people who self-report having a mental health condition.

Regardless of the data collection method, figures show that some states have higher rates of mental health disorders than others. To identify the states at the top and bottom of the list, MHA used the following criteria based on data from the last year (not an exhaustive list):

  • Number of adults with a mental illness and/or a substance use disorder.
  • Number of kids with one or more major depressive episodes and/or substance use disorder.

States with the highest prevalence of mental health disorders

Rank (highest prevalence) State
#1 Oregon
#2 Vermont
#3 Alaska
#4 Wyoming
#5 Utah

The table below highlights the states with the lowest prevalence of mental health conditions. However, keep in mind that states with lower access to mental health treatment, such as Texas and Georgia, may correlate with a lower prevalence of mental health issues, due to fewer reported cases.

States with the lowest prevalence of mental health disorders

Rank (lowest prevalence) State
#1 New Jersey
#2 Florida
#3 Georgia
#4 Texas
#5 New York

Life insurance and mental health

Mental health disorders come in many different forms. However, NAMI defines a mental illness as a condition that “affects a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior or mood.” Mental health conditions also severely impact a person’s ability to function on a daily basis, perform normal activities and relate to others.

When it comes to life insurance and mental health, having a mental disorder does not automatically disqualify you from getting coverage, even though it’s considered a pre-existing condition. During the underwriting process, the insurance company will use your mental health history to determine how much coverage you can get and how much your premium will cost.

If you have a mental health condition, here are some of the specific factors that the underwriter will look at when you apply for life insurance:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Whether you have been hospitalized for your disorder
  • When you were diagnosed
  • How severe your condition is
  • How well you follow your treatment plan (if applicable)
  • The frequency of your episodes
  • What medications you take
  • Comorbid disorders (i.e. suffering from anxiety and depression together)
  • Alcohol and tobacco use

When applying for life insurance, it’s important to be truthful about your health history. Lying on your life insurance application is fraud and your application can be denied if you get caught. Even if you don’t get caught while applying, your death benefit may not be paid out if it’s determined you lied on your application.

There are dozens of life insurance companies out there, and they each have pros and cons. Before you buy a policy, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare some of the best life insurance providers.

Frequently asked questions

    • If you’re concerned about your mental health, the best thing to do is make an appointment with a mental health professional, like a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker. There are also many online mental health support services if you prefer getting treatment from home.If you need help finding a treatment professional, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline at (800) 662-4357. It’s a free and confidential service that provides referrals to local treatment facilities and support groups. You can call the hotline 24/7, 365 days a year and speak to someone in English or Spanish.
    • Mental illness is extremely common. Data shows that one in five American adults suffers from a mental health disorder. An estimated 40 million people nationwide struggle with anxiety alone. Mental health disorders can affect everyone, regardless of age, gender, religion, socio-economic status and lifestyle. The good news is that most mental health disorders are highly treatable, and help is available wherever you are.
    • Every mental health disorder has its own unique warning signs, but these can only truly be diagnosed by a mental health professional. However, here are some common symptoms and signs that present with many conditions, although presence of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate a mental health disorder:
      • Feeling sad, angry or irritable
      • Low energy or feeling very tired
      • Insomnia or poor sleep qualify
      • Appetite changes
      • Excessive fear or worry
      • Feeling detached from others
      • Loss of enjoyment in your favorite activities
      • New drug or alcohol use
    • The main ways that mental health affects life insurance are coverage limits and price. When you apply for coverage, the underwriter will ask questions about your specific disorder, including how long you have had the disorder, how severe it is and what your treatment plan is like (if you have one).Because mental health disorders are a pre-existing condition, you might pay more for life insurance if you have been diagnosed with a condition like depression or anxiety. In addition, if your illness is severe or if you are not getting treatment, it might limit the amount of coverage you are eligible for.
    • Mental health disorders should be taken seriously, and it’s important to get professional help if you think you need it. However, there are also lots of strategies you can use to cope with your disorder on a daily basis. Here are some examples that may help, although you should consult a professional to ensure you have a full plan tailored to your specific needs:
      • Getting daily exercise
      • Eating a healthy diet
      • Getting quality sleep
      • Relaxing activities, like reading or drawing
      • Meditation
      • Spending time with loved ones

Mental health resources state by state

There are countless national mental health resources that can be beneficial if you are looking for support. There are also state resources that can help you get connected with local treatment providers, community groups, educational resources and mental health hotlines.

In the tables below, we used rankings data from MHA and put each state into a category, based on its prevalence of mental health disorders and access to care. The states are ranked from best to worst in terms of overall quality of life for people who experience mental health disorders.

If you’re wondering how to get mental health help in your state, these resources can help.

Top states with low prevalence and high access to care

Top states Contact information and resources
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Massachusetts
(617) 580-8541
New Jersey New Jersey Mental Health Resources
NAMI – New Jersey
(866) 626-4664
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
(855) 284-2494
NAMI – Pennsylvania
(267) 251-6240
NAMI – Cumberland and Perry Counties
(717) 620-9580
NAMI – Philadelphia
(267) 687-4381
Connecticut Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
(800) 467-3135
NAMI – Connecticut
(860) 882-0236
Vermont Vermont Agency of Human Services – Department of Mental Health
(802) 241-0090
NAMI – Vermont
(800) 639-6480
New York New York State Office of Mental Health
(800) 597-8481
New York State Department of Health
(844) 529-3042
NAMI – New York City Metro
(212) 684-3264
Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Health Services
(608) 266-2754
Mental Health America of Wisconsin
(866) 948-6483
NAMI – Wisconsin
(800) 236-2988
Maine Maine Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Behavioral Health
(207) 287-3707
NAMI – Maine
(800) 464-5767
Maryland Mental Health Association of Maryland
(443) 901-1550
NAMI – Maryland
(877) 878-2371
Minnesota Mental Health Minnesota
(800) 862-1799
Minnesota Department of Human Services
(651) 645-2948

Mid-tier states with medium prevalence and median access to care

Mid-tier states Contact information and resources
Rhode Island Mental Health Association of Rhode Island
(401) 726-2285
NAMI – Rhode Island
(401) 331-3060
Illinois Illinois Department of Human Services
(800) 843-6154
NAMI – Illinois
(217) 522-1403
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association
(603) 225-6633
NAMI – New Hampshire
(603) 225-5359
Hawaii Hawaii Department of Health
(808) 586-4400
Mental Health America of Hawaii
(808) 521-1846
NAMI – Hawaii
(808) 591-1297
Kentucky Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health
(502) 564-4456
Mental Health America of Kentucky
(859) 684-7778
NAMI – Kentucky
(888) 338-4164
District of Columbia DC Department of Behavioral Health
(202) 673-2200
(202) 546-0646
South Dakota South Dakota Behavioral Health Services
(605) 773-3165
NAMI – South Dakota
(605) 271-1871
Michigan Michigan Health and Human Services
(517) 241-3740
Mental Health Association in Michigan
(517) 898-3907
NAMI – Michigan
(517) 485-4049
Louisiana Louisiana Department of Health
(225) 342-9500
NAMI – Louisiana
(225) 291-6262
Virginia Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
(804) 786-3921
Virginia Mental Health
NAMI – Virginia
(888) 486-8264
Montana Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Montana Disability and Health Program
Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana
(406) 546-4793
NAMI – Montana
(406) 443-7871
Delaware Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
(302) 255-9399
Delaware Mental Health Resources
Mental Health Association in Delaware
(302) 654-6833
NAMI – Delaware
(302) 427-0787
Iowa Mental Health – Iowa Department of Human Services
(515) 281-7277
NAMI – Iowa
(515) 254-0417
Mental Health – Iowa Department of Education
(515) 664-6732
California California Mental Health Services Division
(888) 452-8609
NAMI – California
(916) 567-0163
Mental Health California
California Mental Health Services Authority
(888) 210-2515
Ohio Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
( 800) 720-9616
Mental Health and Addiction Services
(614) 466-2596
NAMI – Ohio
Mental Health America of Ohio
(614) 221-1441
Nebraska Nebraska Division of Behavioral Health
(402) 471-3121
Nebraska Mental Health
NAMI – Nebraska
(402) 345-8101
Mental Health Association of Nebraska
Georgia Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
(404) 657-2252
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network
Mental Health America of Georgia
(770) 741-1481
NAMI – Georgia
(770) 234-0855
Florida Florida Department of Children and Families – Adult Mental Health
(850) 300-4323
NAMI – Florida
(850) 671-4445
Florida Department of Education – Mental Health
North Dakota North Dakota Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
(701) 328-8920
North Dakota Behavioral Health
(701) 328-8920
Mental Health America of North Dakota
(701) 255-3692
South Carolina South Carolina Department of Mental Health
(803) 898-8581
NAMI – South Carolina
(800) 788-5131
North Carolina North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
(984) 236-5000
NAMI – North Carolina
(919) 788-0801
Washington Washington State Health Care Authority – Mental Health Services
(360) 725-1500
NAMI – Washington
(206) 783-4288
NAMI – Seattle
(206) 789-7722
Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
(405) 248-9200
Mental Health Association Oklahoma
(918) 585-1213
NAMI – Oklahoma
(800) 583-1264
Tennessee Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
(800) 560-5767
Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations
Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association
NAMI – Tennessee
(800) 467-3589
New Mexico NAMI – New Mexico
(505) 260-0154
New Mexico Department of Health – Mental Health Program
New Mexico Behavioral Health
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Mental Health
(601) 359-1288
Mental Health Mississippi
(601) 359-1288
Mental Health Association of South Mississippi
(228) 864-6274
NAMI – Mississippi
(800) 357-0388
Colorado Mental Health Colorado
(720) 208-2220
Colorado Department of Human Services
Colorado Crisis Services
NAMI – Colorado
(303) 321-3104
West Virginia West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health
(304) 558-0627
NAMI – Greater Wheeling
(304) 905-0635

States with high prevalence and low access to care

Low states Contact information and resources
Arkansas Arkansas Programs for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues
(844) 763-0198
NAMI – Arkansas
(800) 844-0381
Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas
(501) 954-7470
Mental Health Council of Arkansas
(501) 372-7062
Missouri Missouri Department of Mental Health
Missouri Mental Health Foundation
(573) 635.9201
NAMI – Missouri
(573) 634-7727
Kansas Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services – Behavioral Health Services
(785) 296-4986
NAMI – Kansas
(785) 233-0755
Indiana NAMI – Indiana
(800) 677-6442
Mental Health America of Indiana
(317) 638-3501
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration – Mental Health Services
Utah Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
(801) 538-3939
NAMI – Utah
(801) 323-9900
Texas Texas Health and Human Services – Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Mental Health Texas
NAMI – Texas
(512) 693-2000
Alabama Alabama Department of Mental Health
(800) 367-0955
Alabama Mental Health
NAMI – Alabama
(334) 396-4797
Oregon Oregon Child and Family Behavioral Health
NAMI – Oregon
(503) 230-8009
Alaska Alaska Mental Health Board
NAMI – Alaska
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Health – Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Services
(800) 535-4006
NAMI – Wyoming
(307) 265-2573
Arizona NAMI – Arizona
(480) 994-4407
Idaho Idaho Department of Health and Welfare – Behavioral Health
(208) 334-6997
NAMI – Idaho
(208) 520-4210
Nevada NAMI – Nevada
(775) 470-5600