Mental Health Report
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone’s mental health, and this has in turn put a strain on support services, and suspended social interactions have left many Americans feeling isolated and alone. An increasing number of adults have developed anxiety over the last two years.
At NiceRx, we have found that anxiety medication has helped people to feel calmer on a daily basis, as well as psychotherapy, which is often used in combination with medication to treat anxiety disorders. What works for some may not work for others, and medication may be more useful to others, and not so useful for some, who find psychotherapy the best option. A combination of treatment is often better than either alone.
So what do mental health services look like in the post-COVID world? With the rise of online therapy, is it possible to develop a response to those who are suffering? We explored which US states have had the most demand for mental health support.
The States Spending the Most on Mental Health Funding
1. Maine – Spending per Capita: $345.36
Every US state has a significant degree of power to make decisions about their mental health care systems. However, they must adhere to regulations to meet standards put in place by the federal government.
Maine is an example of one state that has expanded its mental health systems beyond the federal level to improve access to mental health care and offer better services. Maine is the US state with the largest budget allocated to mental health funding ($345.36).
2. Alaska – Spending per Capita: $341.08
Alaska comes in a close second as the US state with the largest budget allocated to mental health funding with $341.08 spending per capita. It was reported in 2021 that Alaska’s mental health crisis had a particularly harder impact on minorities.
3. District of Columbia – Spending per Capita: $306.87
The District of Columbia takes third place with $306.87 spending per capita. Adults who need behavioral health services and support can choose from a number of community-based private providers located in neighborhoods throughout the District.
The bottom three states with the lowest budgets allocated for mental health include Arkansas with $45.56, Texas with $40.65, and Idaho with $32.77 spending per capita.
The States with the Highest Mental Health Prevalence
This data refers to adults with any kind of mental illness, adults with a substance use disorder, adults with thoughts of suicide, and much more factors.
19.86% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans:
% of Adults with a Mental Health Illness: 26.86%
Utah had the highest prevalence of adults with a mental health illness (26.86%). In a 2017 study, one in five adults in Utah experiences poor mental health.
2. West Virginia
% of Adults with a Mental Health Illness: 24.62%
West Virginia had the second highest prevalence of adults with a mental health illness (24.62%). Experts have reported that West Virginia’s poor mental health stems from high rates of poverty and substance use, along with a deep rooted culture of independence that condemns psychological help.
% of Adults with a Mental Health Illness: 23.75%
Oregon is the third state with the highest prevalence of adults with mental health illnesses (23.75%). A study in 2021 revealed that 34.6% of adults in Oregon reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder, compared to 31.6% of adults in the US.
The States Paying the Most for Therapy
In the US, the median rate for a therapy session in 2017 was $120. The rates by state varied considerably, ranging from $70 in Florida to $160 in Alaska:
1. Alaska – Median Therapy Session Rate – $160
Alaska is the state where residents pay the most for therapy sessions. Data from Sample Practice, a practice management system for mental health professionals, revealed that session rates in Alaska were around $160 per session.
2. Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey & Washington DC
Median Therapy Session Rate – $150
These states were the second highest priced states for therapy sessions. It was found that residents should expect to pay $150+ for a single therapy session.
10 states (Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Alabama. Maryland, California, Oregon, and Wyoming) had rates at $120.
Five states (Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio) had median rates at or below $90.
The States Searching the Most for Therapists
By exploring Google search data, we were able to find the states that had been searching for therapists the most in the last year. These were the results:
1. Florida – 43,414.67 Searches per 100,000
Florida saw the highest volume of Google searches for ‘therapists’ with nearly over 43,000 yearly searches. It was reported that there are more than 37,000 therapists in Florida, and as it is such a largely dense state, it is no wonder that many residents are searching for therapists.
2. Virginia – 19,424.69 Searches per 100,000
Virginia was the second state for the most therapists searches, with over 19,000 lookups in the last year. With over 24,000 therapists working in Virginia, it’s clear that there are a lot of residents using their services.
3. New York – 16,189.60 Searches per 100,000
New York is third on our list for its Google searches of ‘therapists’, with over 16,000 yearly searches. Home to New York City, a modern and forward-thinking place, it’s likely that there are plenty of online therapy sessions that are accessible to residents, hence its high volume of searches.
Top Tips for Improving Your Mental Health
It’s near impossible to feel great every day, with the pressures of life and the effects of the pandemic still lingering, it’s important we look after ourselves.
There are a few day-to-day activities you can practice to help improve your overall well-being without the need for medication, here are some tips shared by the experts at NiceRx:
1. Connect with Friends and Family
Good relationships are important for your well-being and others too, so get talking with a loved one or a close friend. It can help you:
- Build a sense of belonging and self-worth
- Gives you an opportunity to share positive experiences
- Provide emotional support and allow you to support others
2. Be Physically Active
There are thousands of studies proving that exercise is good for the body as well as the mind by:
- Raising your self-esteem
- Helping you to set goals and achieve them
- Causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
3. Learn New Skills
Research shows that learning new skills can improve your mental well-being by:
- Boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
- Helping you build a sense of purpose
- Connecting with others
4. Give to others
More and more studies have suggested that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental well-being by:
- Creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
- Giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
- Helping you to connect with others
5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
By paying more attention to the present moment, you can improve your mental well-being. This includes your thoughts, feelings, body, and world around you.
Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
We started our research by using World Atlas’s report on States Who Spend The Most On Mental Health Funding to find each US state’s spending per capita on mental health funding.
We then used Simple Practice’s guide on the Average Therapy Session Rates to find the median rate of psychotherapy sessions in each state.
We looked at MHA National’s Adult Prevalence Of Mental Illness to find the prevalence of mental illness in each state.