Nov 9, 2021 - News

Mental health issues affect nearly 25% of Ohio adults

Prevalence of mental illness among adults
Data: State of Mental Health in America report; Cartogram: Sara Wise/Axios

Nearly 25% of Ohio adults are experiencing mental health issues, according to nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA). Just three states reported higher figures in 2019.

  • Ohio slid from 11th to 25th in the group's annual mental health rankings, meaning the situation dramatically worsened year-over-year. The scale measures the prevalence of issues as well as access to health care.

Why it matters: Nationwide, the number of people reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression skyrocketed during the pandemic and has remained high, putting stress on a mental health care system that was already strained.

  • This study offers a baseline comparison for those working to get people help. Data from 2020 won't be available until next year.

What they're saying: "We should be concerned that Ohio had one of the largest negative changes in overall ranking from year-to-year," Mental Health America of Ohio executive director Kenton Beachy said in a statement.

  • "... we need to do much better in getting mental health services to youth with depressive disorder and reaching adults with serious thoughts of suicide."

Threat level: Ohio is higher than the national average in both of those categories.

  • 63.3% of youth with major depressive episodes didn't receive treatment, per the report.
  • Just over 6% of Ohio adults reported serious thoughts of suicide — an increase of nearly 1%, the highest change reported nationwide.

If you need help: The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County has a list of local hotlines, helplines and other resources.

  • If you aren't feeling like yourself, Mental Health America of Ohio also offers an online screening to help assess if you need support.
  • If you want to talk to a therapist digitally, apps like Better Help and Talkspace are great options to get help from the comfort of your own home, with flexible subscription costs.

Go deeper: Read the Axios deep dive "America's shadow epidemic."


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