Pennsylvania Ranked #1 for MH Services in USA by Mental Health America

Note: While I beleive that Autism is NOT totally a Mental Health Conditon, oftentimes individuals on the spectrum fall into the Mental Health system through one avenue or another, whether it be someting as simple as psychotherapy or more intense services such as wraparound or family based services. An neurodivergent individual’s mental health is key to having a successful life.

I am very pleased to share with you the fact that Pennsylvania has been ranked #1 in the latest publication by Mental Health America (MHA) for access to care and addressing the mental health needs of the total population.   This is a great honor to be recognized for all the hard work that is done in Pennsylvania.  These accomplishments would be impossible to achieve without the dedicated partnerships we have with our stakeholders.   A huge thanks to all of you!

An overall ranking 1-13 indicates lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care. An overall ranking 39-51 indicates higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. The combined scores of all 15 measures make up the overall ranking. The overall ranking includes both adult and youth measures as well as prevalence and access to care measures.

The 15 measures that make up the overall ranking include:

  1. Adults with Any Mental Illness (AMI)
  2. Adults with Substance Use Disorder in the Past Year
  3. Adults with Serious Thoughts of Suicide
  4. Youth with At Least One Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the Past Year
  5. Youth with Substance Use Disorder in the Past Year
  6. Youth with Severe MDE
  7. Adults with AMI who Did Not Receive Treatment
  8. Adults with AMI Reporting Unmet Need
  9. Adults with AMI who are Uninsured
  10. Adults with Cognitive Disability who Could Not See a Doctor Due to Costs
  11. Youth with MDE who Did Not Receive Mental Health Services
  12. Youth with Severe MDE who Received Some Consistent Treatment
  13. Children with Private Insurance that Did Not Cover Mental or Emotional Problems
  14. Students Identified with Emotional Disturbance for an Individualized Education Program
  15. Mental Health Workforce Availability

Other rankings for Pennsylvania include #9 for Adult Mental Health and #2 for Pennsylvania, while Pennsylvania has the 7th highest prevelence rate in the country. However, Access to care was the lowest ranking for the Keystone state with that coming at #13.

It has been six years since MHA began analyzing a common set of data indicators for mental health that could help us understand the successes and failures of both federal and state initiatives to improve population mental health in the wake of the passage of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, in our sixth year of producing the State of Mental Health in America, we reflect on the trends we have seen in mental health across the United States:

Almost 18% of Pennsylvania’s population or 1.786 Million residents have some mental illness that being the 9th highest state with such individuals with 18.57 or 45 Million Americans expering some type of mental health condition. However, Pennsylvania rates #24 with Adults with serious thoughts of sucicide with 426, 000 or 4.28% of Pennsylvanians falling into that category.

In Pennsylvania, 113,000 or 12.23% of Youth with At Least One Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the Past Year was ranked 14th in the US with 13% of youth in the USA experiencing such activity. 8.6% or 77,000 youth in Pennsylvania experirienced Severe Major Depressive Episodes. Nearly 54% or 59,000 of these individuals could not seek treatment, While 32.8% or 23,000 did.

While there are a plethora of Mental Health Services in Pennsylvania, it was reported that over 54% or 960,000 of Pennsylvanians did not access appropriate Mental Health Treatment. While 24.7% or 437, 000 Pennyslvanins did not have the appropriate supports. However, only 133,000 or 7.5% of Pennsylvanian’s are uninsured. Nearly 255,000 or under 23% of Pennsylvania Adults with a cognitive disability couldnt see a doctor due to financial constraints. 29,000 or 5.9% of Pennsylvania’s youth had commercial insurance that did not cover Mental or Emotional Problems. Likewise, nealy 25,000 or 15.5% of school students in Pennsylvania have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) for Emotional resons, making Pennsylvania the fifth highest state in the country with that classification.

Although we have made great strides in the Keystone State with the Mental Health Services we provide we are still lacking workforce availiability for mental health staff  as we are 35th in that categoty where 1 in 530 to individual with mental health needs.

Recovery is possible, probable and likely!






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