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

WISH File Photo
WISH File Photo

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

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

Natalie Datillo – a clinical psychologist with IU Health – 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,” Datillo said. “Good treatments exist. I think we need to do a better job of letting people know what’s available.”

Datillo said rural communities struggle the most. She said rural communities often have one provider option per 1,000 people and there’s 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 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.

Datillo 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.

Click here for more information.

For a look at the entire MHA study click here.