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Mental Health Awareness Week: Florida among states with worst access to mental healthcare

By The Numbers

(Credit: Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Mental Illness Awareness Week runs between Oct. 4 and Oct. 10, and Floridians are especially in need of mental health resources, according to a new study.

Established in 1990 by Congress, Mental Illness Awareness Week was created to educate the public and fight stigmas surrounding mental illness and treatment.

In any given year, the United States has an average of 4.55% of adults suffering from seriously debilitating mental illness.

In late June 2020, nearly half of adults in the United States reported struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

In a report from Mental Health America, Florida ranks No. 12 among states with the most mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders.

More than 30% of adults in the United States reported struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression or both, while 26% of adults in the U.S. reported dealing with trauma or stessor-related disorder symptoms.

According to Resources to Recover, around 3.8% of adults in Florida live with seriously debilitating mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and major depression.

Thousands more in Florida suffer with other mental illnesses, but don’t have access to treatment.

Florida also ranks No. 40 among states with the best mental health care access, with more than 61% of adults in Florida who suffer from mental illness being unable to access treatment due to workforce availability, access to insurance and treatment costs, among other reasons.

But while Florida ranks last in the country for mental health services per capita, there are resources in Tampa Bay.

On its website, the Tampa Bay Foundation for Mental Health resources both locally and nationally. Some of those resources include:

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at 855-950-NAMI or in a a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.

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