At the end of 2020, Mental Health America published a report entitled “2021: The State of Mental Health in America” which describes the mental health landscape across all 50 states. Some states had a flourishing landscape while others were middling. Georgia did flat-out poorly. There have been many shortcomings in Georgia regarding mental healthcare. Vulnerable populations are most affected.
Georgia’s Mental Healthcare Position In America
Georgia has also consistently dropped in the rankings of mental healthcare over the last several years. At the beginning of 2020, Georgia ranked 36th overall, By early 2021, the state had dropped to 37th. While this ranking does take into account the total number of adults and adolescents struggling with mental illness, these numbers have remained fairly consistent over the years. The drop in rankings comes from a consistent lack of access to healthcare, insufficient care, and a very small number of mental healthcare workers compared to the relatively large population of Georgia.
While Georgia does not necessarily have high rates of mental health issues per capita, keep in mind that Georgia is home to 3 out of the 25 fastest-growing counties in America. This does not necessarily impact mental health directly. Generally, people who can afford to move can also afford mental healthcare of some sort. Out of all states and the District of Columbia, Georgia ranked at a very respectable number 5 with regard to the prevalence of mental illness and past-year substance use disorder per capita.
Georgia ranked dead last at #51 as far as access to mental healthcare is concerned. The factors that go into this ranking include:
- Adults with a mental illness that did not receive treatment
- Insufficient or ineffective treatment and care for a mental illness
- Lack of access to insurance
- Prohibitive insurance costs that restricted access to treatment
- Private insurance that did not cover emotional or mental healthcare
- Availability of mental healthcare workers
A Closer Look At The Numbers
- Nationwide, 86% of adults with a mental illness that did not receive care did have health insurance coverage. The reasons for the lack of care are many and include a lack of in-network mental healthcare providers and prohibitively expensive deductibles for mental illness-related care.
- In the US, 57% of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment. This is concerning enough, but in Georgia, the rate of adults with a mental illness who do not receive treatment is a staggering 64.9%. This is almost 8% above the national average and is indicative of a major shortcoming in Georgia’s lack of affordable and accessible mental healthcare services.
- Nationwide, the rate of adults with a mental illness who are uninsured is 10.8%. In Georgia, the rate is almost double the national average, as 18.5% of adults with a mental illness do not have health insurance. This puts Georgia near the bottom of the nation in 46th place out of 51 rankings.
- Just over 28% of adults with a cognitive disability cannot afford to obtain care nationwide, but the rate in Georgia is almost 42%, putting Georgia in the last place out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Georgia is falling short in regards to children’s mental healthcare. Nationwide, the rate of youth with major depression that did not receive any form of treatment is 59.6%. In Georgia the rate is an astounding 70.4%. Of the youth who received “some” consistent treatment, the national rate was 27.3% while in Georgia the rate was 19.2%.
- This report defines “some consistent treatment” as receiving some form of outpatient treatment or therapy more than 7 times in the previous year. Georgia ranked very poorly in both of these categories, at 50th place for total lack of treatment and 48th for some consistent treatment among youth with major depression.
How Recovery In Georgia Can Help
The state of mental healthcare and addiction treatment in Georgia is fairly bleak right now, and we believe it is our obligation to step up to help in any way we can. At Recovery In Georgia, our goal is to provide comprehensive resources to as many people as possible, regardless of socioeconomic status, history of addiction, or the severity of co-occurring mental health issues. Recovery should be available to all who seek it, and our mission is to provide as many routes to finding care as possible.
Treatment can be an expensive investment in someone’s future and wellbeing, but the expense shouldn’t disqualify people from obtaining it. We know recovery, and we know that anyone is able to recover. It takes willingness and help, and it is our mission to remove as many barriers to entry as possible.
Level of Care
Finding compassionate people can make all the difference when it comes to someone achieving successful, long-term recovery. In the state of Georgia, the ratio of mental healthcare workers to residents is 730-to-1. That means there are 730 people who may need help to every one therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist in the state. This certainly contributes to Georgia’s extremely poor performance when it comes to providing mental health services to residents. Finding competent help that is at an appropriate client-to-care ratio can make the difference between recovery and relapse.
Everyone struggles sometimes, and that’s okay. So long as someone is able to reach out for help, and more importantly, find and receive help there is hope to recover from mental health or substance abuse issues and live a happy, healthy life. Pick up the phone and give us a call. See how we can help you get started on the road to recovery, and we can begin the journey together.