Mental Health America (MHA) released its 2020 State of Mental Health in America state rankings that factor in the prevalence of mental illness and rates of access to care. South Carolina now ranks 44th in the country with improvement in its Access to Care ranking, which examines access to insurance, access to treatment, quality and cost of insurance, access to special education and workforce availability.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Youth mental health is worsening. From 2012 to 2017, the prevalence of past-year Major Depressive Episode (MDE) increased from 8.66 percent to 13.01 percent of youth ages 12-17. Now over two million youth have MDE with severe impairment.
  • Adult prevalence of mental health is relatively stagnant, but suicidal ideation is increasing. Suicidal ideation among adults increased from 3.77 percent in 2012 to 4.19 percent in 2017. That’s over 10.3 million adults in the U.S. with serious thoughts of suicide.
  • Prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD) decreased in both youth and adults. The prevalence rate of substance use disorder, including illicit drug or alcohol dependence or abuse, in adults in the past year decreased from 8.46 percent in 2012 to 7.68 percent in 2017. The prevalence rate of substance use disorder in youth ages 12-17 decreased to 4.13 percent in 2017.
  • More Americans are insured, but their coverage is lacking. The proportion of youth with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional difficulties nearly doubled, from 4.6 percent in 2012 to 8.1 percent in 2017.
  • There is still unmet need for mental health treatment among youth and adults. Only 28.2 percent of youth with severe MDE were receiving some consistent treatment, and over 10 million adults still report an unmet need for mental health care.
  • Youth are not being identified as having an Emotional Disturbance, which can keep them from accessing necessary accommodations. The proportion of students identified with an Emotional Disturbance for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) was only 7.33 percent per 1,000 students in 2017.

Read more about key findings and state rankings here.

Download the full report

Addressing behavioral health issues is imperative to the well-being of our communities as behavioral health issues account for $200 to $740 billion lost earnings annually; important steps to support behavioral health work are described in
IMPH's recent white paper on The Evolving Workforce report.