In March 2022, Mental Health America released its annual report on the state of mental health across the United States. Mississippi Today has aggregated data specific to the Magnolia State.

The latest Data Dive is State of Mind, a report of compiled statistics on the current state of mental health and health care in Mississippi. This analysis zooms in on several categories such as substance abuse disorder, major depression, lack of treatment related to health care coverage and more across the country and among adults and youth.

MHA uses a complex set of criteria to categorize and rank each state. Their overall ranking specifically weighs the prevalence of mental health issues in a state with an estimated rate of access to care to address those issues. Those states ranked 1-13 have a lower prevalence of mental illness and a higher rate of access to care, while those states ranked 39-51 show a higher prevalence of mental illness and a lower rate of access to care.

The data shows that Mississippi generally ranks lower in multiple categories related to the accessibility of mental health services for adults, including adults with any mental illness (AMI) who do not have health insurance. Notably, all thirteen states at the bottom of this ranking had not expanded Medicaid between 2018 and 2019. Mississippi’s percentage of uninsured adults with AMI is only preceded by:

Alabama (19.3% or 154,000)
Missouri (19.3% or 209,000)
Texas (21.5% or 759,000)

Furthermore, over 27 million American adults are going untreated for a mental illness or other mental health issues. Lack of insurance coverage contributes to this, but also a majority of people who do have coverage — 54% — still go untreated.

Over 70% of children in Mississippi with major depression did not receive treatment. That rate precedes even the national percentage, which is 60.3%. Texas is the state with the highest individual percentage of 73.1%.

READ MORE: ‘We got to get some help:’ Pandemic accelerates need for children’s mental health services


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Nigel Dent, a native of Natchez, is Mississippi Today’s audience journalist. He works as a member of the audience team to engage with readers, create audience-centered resources and distribute Mississippi Today’s news across various digital platforms, including social media and newsletter products.