The State of Mental Health: Changing the Conversation in 2023

The State of Mental Health: Changing the Conversation in 2023

Written By: Cathy Murphy, Director of Community Outreach
Summit Counseling Center

Even before COVID-19 the state of our mental health was on the decline. Since 2019 we have heard reports that “our children are not OK”, “90% of adults say mental health is a crisis”, “suicide rates are on the rise”, and “over 107K people died of a drug overdose in the past 12-month period”.

In October of 2022, Mental Health America (MHA) released their annual report for “The State of Mental Health in America 2023”. MHA uses 15 measurements to create a national snapshot and state-by-state rankings for this report. It is also worth noting that the most recent data is from 2020, so it will be several years before we realize the full impact of COVID-19 on our mental well-being. Key findings show that during the reporting period:

  • 21% of adults experienced a mental illness.
  • 15% of adults had a substance use disorder.
  • 55% of adults with a mental illness received no treatment.
  • 16% of youth reported suffering from at least one major depressive episode.
  • 60% of youth with major depression did not receive mental health treatment.

The report also shows that the State of Georgia finished at or near the bottom in the following categories (1 being the highest ranking and 51 being the lowest ranking):

  • Access to mental health care (49th).
  • Adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment (43rd).
  • Adults with a mental illness who were not insured (47th).
  • Adults reporting 14+ mentally unhealthy days a month who could not see a doctor due to costs (51st).
  • Youth with major depression did not receive any mental health treatment (44th).
  • Youth with severe depression did not receive consistent treatment (42nd).
  • Youth with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional problems (44th).
  • Mental health workforce availability (47th).

While these key findings are disappointing and continue to move in the wrong direction, it is also worth noting some major mental health improvements being made at the local, state and national levels. Join The Summit for 2 community events during the month of January to learn more about new laws and legislation, state and local support, and services available in our community.

The Summit Open House, 2750 Old Alabama Rd., Wednesday, January 18th, 9:00-11:00am. Join our clinical team for presentations on our services, programs and community partners and learn more about our mission and vision of meeting the behavioral health needs of our community by removing common barriers to care through awareness, accessibility, and affordability.

Changing the Conversation Surrounding Mental Health: Georgia Update, Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, 69 N. Main, Thursday, January 26th, 10:00-11:30am. Join this community discussion about 9-8-8, Georgia HB1013, CHOA’s Behavioral and Mental Health program, and other mental health topics impacting our community. Panelists will include representatives from Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability (DBHDD), Fulton County DBHDD, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and other mental health stakeholders from our community.

For more information visit our website at or email