ANCHORAGE (KTUU) -
(App users, to view the interactive data visualization, follow this link).
Alaska ranks 13 of 51 in its ability to provide access to care for its citizens that deal with mental illness, according to Mental Health America, a leading nonprofit organization that supports the overall mental health of Americans.
MHA’s overall All Mental Illness (AMI) ranking is compiled by 15 total evaluated measures, as the study’s methodology indicates here. And “a lower overall ranking indicates higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care,” according to MHA.
The state with the lowest AMI rank is Connecticut, while the state with the highest AMI rank is Nevada.
According to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) study, “Behavioral Health Barometer Alaska, 2015,” approximately 20,000 Alaskan adults were diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), from 2013 to 2014. At 3.9 percent, Alaska’s population of SMI diagnoses falls below the national average of 4.2 percent.
And among the adults served by Alaska's public mental health system, 30.3 percent were employed, 19.5 percent were unemployed and 50.3 percent were not in the labor force, according to SAMHSA.
A statewide statistic for Alaska's total population living with AMI is unavailable, because it is not possible to access the number of cases reported to private health systems, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
If you have questions or concerns about your own metal health or the mental health of a friend or family member, dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221 for Alaska United Way. Or take a look at these Top 25 HelpLine Resources.