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State of Mental Health in 2020

Each year Mental Health Association National gathers data to help us understand the disparities faced by individuals with mental health problems. This year, Pennsylvania earned the number 1 rank in terms of lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care. These rankings include both adult and youth measures. While we are pleased with the progress of Pennsylvania, there is always more we can do to improve outcomes, including improved access to health care and affordability of care. You can dig into the details on Pennsylvania here. 

More than 10 million adults have an unmet need for mental health treatment. Thatt number has no declined since 2011.

National Key Findings include: 

  • Youth mental health is worsening. From 2012 to 2017, the prevalence of past-year Major Depressive Episode (MDE) increased from 8.66 percent to 13.01 percent of youth ages 12-17. Now over two million youth have MDE with severe impairment. 
  • Adult prevalence of mental health is relatively stagnant, but suicidal ideation is increasing. Suicidal ideation among adults increased from 3.77 percent in 2012 to 4.19 percent in 2017. That’s over 10.3 million adults in the U.S. with serious thoughts of suicide. 
  • Prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD) decreased in both youth and adults. The prevalence rate of substance use disorder, including illicit drug or alcohol dependence or abuse, in adults in the past year decreased from 8.46 percent in 2012 to 7.68 percent in 2017. The prevalence rate of substance use disorder in youth ages 12-17 decreased to 4.13 percent in 2017. 
  • More Americans are insured, but their coverage is lacking. The proportion of youth with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional difficulties nearly doubled, from 4.6 percent in 2012 to 8.1 percent in 2017. 
  • There is still unmet need for mental health treatment among youth and adults. Only 28.2 percent of youth with severe MDE were receiving some consistent treatment, and over 10 million adults still report an unmet need for mental health care. 
  • Youth are not being identified as having an Emotional Disturbance, which can keep them from accessing necessary accommodations. The proportion of students identified with an Emotional Disturbance for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) was only 7.33 percent per 1,000 students in 2017. 

View the full report here 

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