This high prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders in the United States is a growing concern and has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the past-year prevalence of any mental illness among adults in the United States was 21%, meaning that 52.9 million adults were affected by mental illness. Substance use disorders affected 15% (37.9 million) of U.S. adults, including 6.7% (17 million) of U.S. adults who were affected by both mental illness and substance use disorders. While data on children’s mental health is less readily available, the past-year prevalence of mental health service utilization is approximately one in ten among children ages 3-17.¹
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) introduced the Roadmap for Behavioral Health Integration, to advance the White House Strategy to Address our National Mental Health Crisis announced earlier this year.
The HHS paper explains policy and programs that will build three pillars of the national strategy:
1) Strengthen system capacity by developing a diverse workforce
2) Connect Americans to care through health financing
3) Support Americans by creating healthy environments with investments in behavioral health, upstream prevention and recovery
The Roadmap includes rural communities as part of its cross-cutting equity priority, but does not cover all of the behavioral health initiatives across the Department; important efforts already underway include the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy and the new three-digit 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Mental Illness in the Dakotas
Only 45.8% of adults with mental illness in North Dakota receive any form of treatment from either the public system or private providers (according to SAMHSA). The remaining 54.2% receive no mental health treatment. According to Mental Health America, North Dakota is ranked 8 out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. for providing access to mental health services.
Only 48.2% of adults with mental illness in South Dakota receive any form of treatment from either the public system or private providers (according to SAMHSA). The remaining 51.8% receive no mental health treatment. According to Mental Health America, South Dakota is ranked 34th out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. for providing access to mental health services.
- North Dakota Department of Human Services–Behavioral Health Services
- North Dakota 211
- North Dakota Medicaid
- Mental Health America of North Dakota
- North Dakota Center for Rural Health
- National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) South Dakota
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) –North Dakota