DENVER (KDVR) — The Centennial State has improved from having the country’s most mentally unsound adults, according to a new study by Mental Health America, though it is still lower than average.
The nonprofit releases yearly rankings on mental health. Researchers rate the prevalence of mental illness and access to care for both youth and adults.
Colorado ranked 51st among U.S. states and the District of Columbia for adult mental health in 2021 but 45th in 2022. For overall mental health, Colorado ranked 30th in 2022.
Colorado had one of the highest shares of adults with a mental illness. According to the report, 23.5% of the state’s adults have some kind of mental illness, roughly one in four. That percentage improved slightly in 2022 to 23.16%.
States in the western U.S. have higher suicide rates, and Colorado is no exception. About 6.01% of Colorado adults report having had serious thoughts of suicide, the 11th-highest rate in the U.S. among states
Colorado also has one of the nation’s most pronounced substance abuse issues. About 11.75% of Colorado adults had a substance abuse disorder in 2021, the highest rate among states. That grew to 17.25% in 2022, but so did the rate in other states. Colorado is now ranked 13th for substance abuse among adults.
On the brighter side, Colorado’s mental healthcare access is not at the bottom of the list. Colorado ranked 38th for the presence of untreated adults with mental illnesses and 29th for the number of adults with mental illnesses who are uninsured.