unhealthy relationships

Mental Health America recently announced that Wisconsin had the best mental health in the nation. Yet, some alarming Wisconsin youth mental health statistics need examining.

Access to Care

The organization ranks Wisconsin third for the most access to care of any state in the United States, which is excellent news. Only the District of Columbia and Delaware placed higher.

Youth with at Least One Major Depressive Episode in the Past Year

Wisconsin also placed third for the number of youth with at least one major depressive episode in the last 12 months. Researchers found that 16.39% of youth reported suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year. COVID could have played a significant role in this uptick, with 67% of students reporting that they found doing classes online harder. Over 55% of students said they had been emotionally abused while 11% reported being physically abused in the last year. One in four students reported they did not have enough food to eat. All these factors can contribute to a student feeling more depressed.

Youth With Substance Abuse Disorder in the Last Year

When asked, 6.34% of students reported having a substance abuse challenge in the last year. Of those students, 4.85% said it was with an illegal drug while 2.85% admitted they had a problem with alcohol. Wisconsin is ninth in the nation, with 5.66% self-reporting that they had a problem with one or both.

Youth with Severe Major Depressive Episode

Across the nation, 11.5% of youth said they had a severe major depressive episode in the last year. In Wisconsin, that number was 8.5%, which is good news from this report.

Lack of Treatment

Almost 60% of United States students with a major depressive episode received no treatment, and that number is 53.4% for students in Wisconsin. This number varied slightly depending on ethnic groups, with Asians being the most likely to receive treatment and almost 70% of black students receiving no treatment.

If you are a youth or the caretaker for one that needs mental health help, please reach out. There are many treatment options available.