HCN News & Notes

Study Ranks Massachusetts Fifth for Access to Mental-health Services

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — A new study has named the states with the best access to mental-health services and treatments, with Maine taking the top spot and Massachusetts ranking fifth.

The Dawn Rehab Thailand, a behavioral-health treatment center, analyzed state mental-health data, including in-state call answer rates for the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline and the amount of money the state’s mental-health agency spends per capita. Each state received scores out of 10 for each factor, which contributed to the final ranking.

Maine is followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, and Montana on the list. In fifth is Massachusetts, where only 1.9% of children are not insured for mental-health issues, the lowest in the U.S., for a score of 10. The Commonwealth also scores a respectable 7.99 for crisis-line answer rates, answering 89.2% of calls.

“Mental-health issues can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender, or where you’re from,” said Helen Wells, clinical director at the Dawn Rehab Thailand. “If left untreated, these issues can spiral, and there is a higher risk of loss of life. Having access to high-quality mental-health treatments is fundamental for people to receive the help that they need.

Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota round out the top 10.

“The data suggest that the East Coast prioritizes mental-health treatment by providing access to these services,” Wells noted, with seven of the top 10 states located there. “The findings should encourage states outside of the top ten to re-evaluate their efforts and focus on offering better support.”