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Tennessee ranks 28th for mental health resources, up 11 spots from last year

Tennessee moved up on the 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia for mental health resources.

Tennessee ranked 28th in a new report that ranks states on how well they respond to the mental health needs of citizens — the 2021 State of Mental Health in America report.

It moved up 11 spots compared to the last report. It examines data trends in several different categories relating to mental illness, substance use disorder, thoughts of suicide and access to care for adults and youth. The report was published by Mental Health America.

"Mental illnesses are conditions which affect how we feel, how we think and how we act," said Ben Harrington, the CEO of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee. "And a mental health condition is just as treatable, if not more treatable than a medical condition."

Officials also said that Tennessee received millions of dollars in federal funding over the past two years to help Tennessee leaders address behavioral health concerns.

The report also found that youth mental health is worsening, with 9.7% of youth in the U.S. having severe major depression compared to 9.2% in last year's report.

They also found that suicidal ideation among adults is increasing, with an additional 460,000 people reporting suicidal ideation in the U.S. compared to last year.

Around 60% of youth with major depression did not receive mental health treatment in 2017-2018 across the country, officials said. Health officials said that 27.3% of American youth with severe depression received consistent treatment.

The number of people seeking help for anxiety and depression has also skyrocketed, officials said. From January - September 2020, officials said there was a 93% increase in the number of people who took an anxiety screening compared to last year. There was also a 62% increase in the number of people who took a depression screening.