10 best, worst states for mental health

Nathan Tucker – Friday, October 14th, 2022


This publication is available for your use and may be reproduced in its entirety without permission from NIDA. Citation of the source is appreciated, using the following language: Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nearly 21 percent or about 50 million adults experienced mental illness from 2019 to 2020, according to Mental Health America’s 2023 report on the state of mental health in the U.S.

The 2023 State of Mental Health in America report, published on Oct. 13 identifies mental health measures and ranks states based on 15 criteria to provide a strong foundation for understanding the prevalence of mental health concerns and issues of access to insurance and treatment. 

About 55 percent of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, and 28.2 percent of adults with a mental illness reported being unable to receive the treatment they needed. Additionally, 42 percent of adults with any mental illness reported that they do not receive care because they cannot afford it. 

In the U.S., there are an estimated 350 individuals for every mental health provider. States ranked higher have a lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care for adults.

According to the report, here are the top 10 best states for adult mental health:

  1. Kentucky
  2. Hawaii
  3. New York
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Connecticut
  7. Tennessee
  8. New Jersey
  9. Illinois
  10. Maryland

The following 10 states have a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care for adults: 

  41. Nevada

  42. Oklahoma

  43. Idaho

  44. Colorado

  45. Utah

  46. Alabama

  47. Oregon

  48. Arizona

  49. Wyoming

  50. Kansas


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