Americans are struggling with mental health. Nationwide, more people are taking prescription mental health medication, anxiety and depression levels are rising, suicidal ideation is increasing and 11% of people with a mental illness don’t have insurance. There are, however, some states that are at the forefront of mental health care. Our team of analysts found that these states have both high access to mental health care and low numbers of people without health insurance.

Key findings:

  • Connecticut, Maryland and Massachusetts have the best mental health care
  • 21% of Americans have a mental health issue
  • 11% of people received mental health care this year
  • 11% of people with a mental health illness didn’t receive care this year

To determine the best states for mental health care, our analysts looked at five key factors:

  • Prevalence of mental illness in each state
  • Access to mental health care
  • The number of people who have received care
  • The number of people who needed care but didn’t get it
  • Mental illness and health insurance

We found that Connecticut has the best mental health care in the nation. The state has a high degree of access to care, a low number of uninsured residents with mental health issues and a low number of people who weren't able to utilize mental health services.

States with the best mental health care
Rank State
1 Connecticut
2 Maryland
3 Massachusetts
4 New York
5 Rhode Island
6 Wisconsin
7 Hawaii
8 New Jersey
9 Illinois
10 Delaware
11 Montana
12 Pennsylvania
13 Vermont
14 Minnesota
15 Maine
16 Michigan
17 Iowa
18 California
19 New Hampshire
20 North Carolina
21 South Carolina
22 Virginia
23 Oklahoma
24 New Mexico
25 Kentucky
26 Nebraska
27 Colorado
28 South Dakota
29 Ohio
30 West Virginia
31 Tennessee
32 Arizona
33 Washington
34 Utah
35 North Dakota
36 Louisiana
37 Texas
38 Kansas
39 Indiana
40 Idaho
41 Florida
42 Nevada
43 Oregon
44 Arkansas
45 Alaska
46 Alabama
47 Georgia
48 Mississippi
49 Missouri
50 Wyoming

Mental illness is incredibly common in the United States. One in 5 adults experienced a mental illness prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on those affected by mental illness

Many of these illnesses are left untreated. Half of the people with a mental health illness do not receive treatment, and nearly 25% say they have not been able to get the care they need.

Informational graphic on the state of mental illness treatment

The consequences for this lack of treatment cannot be overstated. Suicide rates are up 30% since 1999, and more than 90% of people who committed suicide showed symptoms of mental health issues.

Informational graphic on suicide in the United States

Insurance is a major factor when it comes to receiving mental health care. We found a direct correlation between the number of people who didn’t receive mental health care and the number of people who had a mental illness but did not have insurance. Oregon, for example, had the second-highest percentage of people who did not receive care and the second-highest percentage of people without insurance.

Having insurance is key because under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans must also include coverage for mental health services and substance abuse.

Access to mental health care in each state
State % with a mental illness % of people who received care % of people who didn’t receive care % of people without insurance*
Alabama 21% 12% 11% 19%
Alaska 21% 9% 14% 10%
Arizona 20% 11% 12% 12%
Arkansas 20% 9% 13% 11%
California 19% 12% 12% 7%
Colorado 23% 13% 12% 11%
Connecticut 19% 13% 9% 5%
Delaware 21% 12% 6% 7%
Florida 17% 8% 12% 18%
Georgia 18% 9% 13% 15%
Hawaii 17% 10% 6% 5%
Idaho 22% 12% 12% 14%
Illinois 19% 12% 11% 7%
Indiana 22% 11% 12% 13%
Iowa 19% 9% 9% 11%
Kansas 21% 10% 12% 14%
Kentucky 23% 8% 12% 4%
Louisiana 21% 8% 11% 12%
Maine 22% 13% 9% 13%
Maryland 18% 12% 9% 6%
Massachusetts 21% 18% 10% 4%
Michigan 20% 11% 10% 7%
Minnesota 21% 13% 13% 8%
Mississippi 20% 8% 13% 18%
Missouri 23% 11% 13% 19%
Montana 21% 15% 10% 10%
Nebraska 20% 14% 14% 12%
Nevada 22% 8% 11% 12%
New Hampshire 22% 10% 8% 12%
New Jersey 16% 10% 7% 9%
New Mexico 21% 12% 13% 11%
New York 20% 16% 10% 8%
North Carolina 19% 10% 12% 5%
North Dakota 21% 8% 10% 15%
Ohio 24% 10% 11% 10%
Oklahoma 23% 15% 16% 7%
Oregon 24% 13% 15% 18%
Pennsylvania 20% 13% 10% 12%
Rhode Island 22% 13% 8% 6%
South Carolina 19% 10% 11% 4%
South Dakota 18% 7% 11% 16%
Tennessee 19% 9% 12% 10%
Texas 17% 11% 14% 15%
Utah 27% 13% 13% 11%
Vermont 22% 15% 13% 5%
Virginia 19% 10% 9% 12%
Washington 23% 12% 14% 12%
West Virginia 25% 11% 11% 10%
Wisconsin 20% 11% 10% 6%
Wyoming 23% 6% 12% 18%
* This represents the percentage of people with a mental health illness who also do not have insurance

Mental Health Resources

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Methodology

States were evaluated based on data from Mental Health America and the United States Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey. Overall rankings were determined by a composite score based upon access to care, insurance rates and the prevalence of mental illness within each state.

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