New study ranks Indiana close to worst in the nation for mental health

New study ranks Indiana close to worst in the nation for mental health.
New study ranks Indiana close to worst in the nation for mental health.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – When it comes to mental health, a new state ranking has Indiana residents close to the worst in the nation. Mental Health America released its findings this week. According to the study, Indiana ranks 45th out of all 50 states and Washington D.C.

This is the 3rd year M-H-A released its state of mental health report. Along with ranking the states, it gives an overall snapshot of the country’s mental health.

The study shows that more people are insured across the board, but there is a shortfall for meeting the needs of those with mental health concerns.

MHA said nationwide more than 40 million people are dealing with mental health concerns,  which is the populations of New York and Florida combined.

IU Health Clinical Psychologist Natalie Dattilo said cost, time off work, and transportation are just some of the hurdles people in Indiana face.

“I also think stigma is still a very big issue in terms of restricting access to treatment. Lack of information about what good treatments are. Good treatments exist. I think we need to do a better job of letting people know what’s available,” said Dattilo.

Dattilo said rural communities struggle the most. Oftentimes she said rural communities have one provider option per 1,000 people which, she said, is simply not enough supply for the demand.

Some other interesting facts MHA points out:

• There is a direct link between a lack of mental health care and incarceration rates. 1.2 million people are incarcerated with a mental health issue
• 56 percent of Americans who need mental health treatment do not get it
• Youth mental problems are on the rise. Six out of 10 young people with major depression do not receive treatment.

While Indiana ranked 45th, Nevada ranked the lowest for mental health at 51. Connecticut came out with the best mental health at number one in the country.

MHA said all states need to dramatically improve access to mental healthcare. It said Vermont has the best access to mental health care and still 43 percent of its population who is in need of mental health treatment, did not get it.

Dattilo said one of the most common questions she receives is how to get loved ones help who need it. She said there are several great resources for recognizing mental health symptoms and finding ways to get treatment help.

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For a look at the entire MHA study click here.