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Utah tops list of states with most mental illness

Posted at 4:04 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 00:29:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The online prescription site nicerx.com pointed out numbers from a government study published in late 2021 showing Utah as the state reporting the highest levels of mental illness in the nation.

The website got the information from the U.S. Department of Health in a survey of Americans conducted in 2020 and released at the end of 2021.

Utah came in at number one in the country for what they termed mental health problems.

According to the data, 29.68 percent of Utahns reported a mental illness of some kind in the previous year. That gave our state the highest rate in the category of "any mental illness" reported — almost one in three of us.

But Utah was also number one in "serious mental illness," meaning something that seriously hurts one's ability to function. One in 13 Utahns fell under that category.

Utah is third among states in the number of residents taking advantage of mental health treatment. About 1/5 of us do that.

More than one in 10 Utahns reported a major depressive episode in the last year. That means a feeling of hopelessness or lack of pleasure in life for two weeks or longer.

Utahn have more serious thoughts of suicide and are more likely to have made a plan for suicide than other Americans, but Utah ranked last in suicide attempts at number 51 (D.C. included).

That last one may seem surprising, but the number of attempts doesn't track with the number of deaths by suicide. The death rate is all about the method. Looking at two lists, states with the most suicide deaths and states with the most guns. Wyoming, Alaska and Montana are the top three in both categories.

Here’s a chart to visualize the results:

The story in the video above breaks down the information.