Mental health and substance use disorders are key public health issues and have received increased national attention in recent years. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing share of people report poor mental health and deaths due to drug overdose have reached record highs. Alongside these worsening issues, challenges with accessing mental health and substance use services have persisted. Poor mental health and barriers to care can vary geographically and by population characteristics. This page highlights relevant findings on the mental health landscape, including state-level data and analyses at the demographic level.

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Five Key Findings on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders by Race/Ethnicity

Rapidly rising rates of deaths by suicide and drug overdose among people of color, along with disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, further underscore inequities in access to mental health care and treatment and highlight the importance of centering equity in diagnostics, care, ant treatment.

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The Landscape of School-Based Mental Health Services

This analysis explores the landscape of mental health services in public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, barriers schools face in offering these services, and how recent policies aim to facilitate the expansion of school-based mental health care.

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The Safer Communities Act: Changes to Medicaid EPSDT and School Based Services

This post examines Medicaid’s current role in providing coverage for EPSDT and school-based health services, current challenges, and changes to these services included in the new the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

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Mental Health Parity at a Crossroads

With federal agencies preparing to update parity regulations and Congress considering reforms, our new report explains existing parity requirements, including who they apply to and how their enforced, and highlights key policy issues raised by regulators and advocates that could be addressed in the future. Those issues include: Simplifying parity standards…

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Mental Health Parity at a Crossroads

This brief discusses federal mental health parity protections — what they are, who they apply to, who enforces them and key policy issues as Congress and federal agencies evaluate improvements to the law to address gaps in mental health coverage and access.

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Do States with Easier Access to Guns have More Suicide Deaths by Firearm?

The recent mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo have catalyzed discussion around mental health and gun policy. In the same week that the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was signed strengthening background checks for young adults, adding incentives for red flag laws, and reducing access to guns for individuals with a domestic violence history, the Supreme Court struck down New York’s “proper cause” requirement for concealed carry allowances. In this issue brief, we use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wonder database and the State Firearm Law Database to examine the association between suicide deaths by firearm and the number of state-level firearm law provisions.

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Child and Teen Firearm Mortality in the U.S. and Peer Countries

Firearms recently became the number one cause of death for children in the United States, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries. This brief examines how gun violence and other types of firearm deaths among children and teens in the United States compare to rates in other large and wealthy countries.

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Recent Trends in Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns Among Adolescents

Concerns about adolescent mental health and substance use have increased, particularly in light of gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief explores the state of adolescent mental health in recent years, highlighting differences observed by sex, racial and ethnic groups, and sexual orientation.

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As the U.S. Prepares to Launch a National Three-Digit Number for the Mental Health Crisis Hotline in July, Data Show Suicide Death Rates Increased in the Decade from 2010 to 2020, Especially Among People of Color

As the federal government prepares to launch the national three-digit number “988” for the mental health crisis hotline next month, a new KFF analysis shows that suicide death rates increased by 12 percent in the decade from 2010 to 2020 — with death rates rising fastest among people of color,…

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A Look at Suicide Rates Ahead of 988 Launch—A National Three-Digit Suicide Prevention Hotline

As the federal government prepares to launch the national three-digit number “988” for the mental health crisis hotline in July 2022, this analysis shows that suicide death rates increased by 12 percent in the decade from 2010 to 2020 — with death rates rising the fastest among people of color, younger individuals, and people who live in rural areas. Suicide death rates in 2020 were highest among American Indian and Alaska Native people, males, and people who live in rural areas

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.