• Diana Ballesteros

Utah adults have highest mental illness rate in country

Updated: Nov 5

Original article at KSL news radio



In light of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, Nice Rx released a study concerning the state of mental health in the U.S. Utah topped the list for the number of adults experiencing some kind of mental illness.

According to the study, 26.86% of adults in Utah report some kind of mental illness including, substance use disorder, adults with thoughts of suicide, and other factors. Nationally, 19.86% of adults report experiencing a mental illness which equates to nearly 50 million Americans.

The study also shows that Utahns pay on average $110 for therapy. And that mental health funding in Utah stands at about $70 per capita.

Rounding out the top five states for a high prevalence of mental illness are West Virginia, Oregon, Ohio and Washington.

The stigma of mental health in Utah

Mental health doctors and advocacy groups say shame and prejudice surrounding mental health exists in Utah. They’re hoping to stop the stigma.


Huntsman Mental Health Institute, together with the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, Rural Behavioral Health Institute, and nearly 200 national organizations, will gather on World Mental Health Day to launch a nationwide movement to eliminate mental health stigma.

The event is labeled as a ” first-of-its-kind gathering” with the goal of building a nationwide network of organizations and individuals that will work together to stop the shame and prejudice associated with mental health. They also hope to tackle challenging issues like workforce shortages, child and youth mental health, access to care, and more.

Tips for boosting mental health

Nice Rx provided tips for improving one’s mental health. Topping the list is connecting with family and friends for support and enhancing a person’s well-being. Other suggestions include being physically active, learning something new, giving to others, and practicing mindfulness.

A call for help: 9-8-8

In July, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration launched the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline as a resource for those struggling with their mental health. A website was also launched with links to several resources at 988lifeline.org.

If you need help

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

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