ATLANTA–According to a national report recently issued by Mental Health America, Georgia ranks 11th in terms of depression, and 18th in suicide rates.
“Ranking the States: An Analysis of Depression Across the States,” provides a snapshot of the level of depression, from the healthiest states to the least, in addition to suicide rankings. Among factors contributing to state rankings is availability of and access to mental health services.
Depression affects more than 21 million children and adults annually and is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people 15-44. In Georgia, depression is the principal cause of roughly 900 suicides each year.
“This report provides important understanding on how we compare to the rest of the country,” said Gwen Skinner, director for the Georgia Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases. “We will continue to build on our strengths and make necessary improvements.”
Over the last few years, Georgians with mental illness have benefited from a 62 percent increase in community-based services. In addition, crisis stabilization services for adults with mental illness have increased by 30 percent, and Georgia is building first ever crisis stabilization beds for children and adolescents.
“Ranking the States: An Analysis of Depression Across the States” relied on four different measures to rank states including: the percentage of the adult population experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the past year; the percentage of the adolescent population (ages 12 to17) experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the past year; the percentage of the adult population experiencing serious psychological distress; and the average number of days in the past 30 days in which the population reported that their mental health was not good.
Information about Georgia mental health resources can be obtained through the Georgia crisis and access line at 1-800-715-4225 or access mygcal.com.