The Landscape of Mental Health in 2017

Mental Health in the U.S. 2017

Happy New Year! The holidays are over and it’s time to begin anew. So, what can behavioral service professionals expect in mental health in 2017?

The following are key findings from the State of Mental Health in America 2017 report:

  • 1 in 5 Adults have a mental health condition.That’s over 40 million Americans; more than the populations of New York and Florida combined.

  • Youth mental health is worsening. Rates of youth depression increased from 8.5% in 2011 to 11.1% in 2014. Even with severe depression, 80% of youth are left with no or insufficient treatment

  • More Americans have access to services…Access to insurance and treatment increased, as healthcare reform has reduced the rates of uninsured adults. 19% of adults remain uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid. 13% of adults remain uninsured in states that did expand Medicaid.

  • …But most Americans still lack access to care. 56% of American adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment. Even in Vermont, the state with the best access, 43% of adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment.

  • There is a serious mental health workforce shortage. In states with the lowest workforce, there’s only 1 mental health professional per 1,000 individuals. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses combined.

  • Less access to care means more incarceration. Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had the least access to care and highest rates of imprisonment. There are over 57,000 people with mental health conditions in prison and jail in those states alone. That’s enough to fill Madison Square Garden three times.

Knowledge is a tool. Understanding health disparities that affect our nation is the first step to taking action and providing service to communities in need. The 2017 State of Mental Health in America Report lists up to date facts, statistics and data (FREE copy can be downloaded here:

Best of luck this year with all your professional endeavors!

-Megan Phillips, M.A.


Mental Health America (2016, December 14). The State of Mental Health in America 2017. Retrieved from

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