May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and today is Mental Health Action Day. This national movement was started in 1949 and aims to raise awareness about stigma, educate the public, and advocate for policies and practices that support people living with mental illness (and their families). Mental Health America has identified the theme, “Back to Basics,” with the goal of providing basic information about mental health and what people can do to improve their mental health.
To raise awareness about the prevalence of mental illness, Mental Health America has published their 2022 Mental Health Rankings for States. Their goals for this data include: to provide a snapshot of mental health data among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation; to track changes in the prevalence of mental health and access to care across time; to understand how changes in national data impact legislation and policies; and to increase the dialogue and improve outcomes for individual and families with mental health needs.
States are ranked based on seven measures which include: adults with any mental illness (AMI), adults with substance use disorder in the past year, adults with serious thoughts of suicide, adults with AMI who did not receive treatment, adults with AMI reporting unmet need, adults with AMI who are uninsured, adults with cognitive disability who couldn’t not see a doctor due to costs. We’ll look at each measure more in depth.