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Mental Health America of Arizona

Mental Health America of Arizona (MHA AZ), serving Arizona since 1954, is here to educate our community and advocate for all those individuals and families impacted by mental illness.

We are Arizona’s oldest organization dedicated to all aspects of mental health, mental illness and behavioral health disorders.

Our mission is to promote the mental health and well-being for all Arizonans through education, advocacy and the shaping of public policy.

We do so by developing, empowering, informing and activating a network of people, healthcare providers and business alliances interested in advocating for sound public mental health policy.

Mental Health America of Arizona 

Mental Health of America of Arizona currently provides printed resources to people and organizations throughout the community with information and resources to increase knowledge of access to care, promote mental health equity, reduce stigma, enable early identification and prevention, and enhance intervention, especially among vulnerable populations.

Specifically, we provide business card sized depression and suicide warning signs cards that also include a number of different crisis phone numbers. They have become a vital resource for countless individuals.

By providing warning signs and symptoms cards that include crisis and non-crisis phone numbers, our communities will be better equipped to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness. These populations will serve students, faculty, communities, first responder colleagues (as first responders have a higher rate of suicide than the general community), active duty military, veterans and their family members, as well as community members at-large.

According to Mental Health America’s 2020 State of Mental Health in America’s report, Arizona is ranked 49 out of 51 showing that overall Arizonans have a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care (MHA, 2020).

  • 19.00% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to over 47 million Americans
  • 7.68% of adults in America reported having a substance use disorder in the past year
  • Arizona has 7.36 percent or 394,000 adults that have a dependence on drugs or alcohol
  • The percentage of adults reporting serious thoughts of suicide is 4.19 percent. The estimated number of adults with serious suicidal thoughts equal more than nine million individuals
  • Arizona has 4.02 percent or 211,000 adults have serious thoughts of suicide
  • 13.01 percent of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year
  • 4.13 percent of youth in America report having a substance use or alcohol problem
  • Arizona has 4.77 percent or 26,000 youth report having a substance or alcohol problem
  • 57.2% of adults with a mental illness received no treatment. Over 26 million individuals experiencing a mental health illness are going untreated
  • For every 850 people living in Arizona, there is one mental health provider
  • After Colorado, Arizona had the highest prevalence of youth with alcohol or substance use problems
  • Arizona has the second highest prevalence of youth with mental illness and second lowest access to care

According to Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), suicide was the eighth leading cause of death in Arizona in 2018 (AHDS, 2019). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2017. Nationally, nearly 47,000 persons took their lives in 2017 (a national suicide rate of 14.0 per 100,000 persons in the US). In Arizona that same year, suicide was the 8th leading cause of death, with 1,304 certified deaths attributed to suicide among Arizona residents. The adjusted rate of suicide among Arizona residents in 2017 was 18.0 per 100,000 population. The Arizona 2017 suicide rate was 29 percent above the national rate of suicide that year. Rural populations often lack access to care, resources and transportation. Urban /rural differences are also apparent, as rural residents were nearly two times more likely to die from suicide than urban residents (ADHS, 2018)

Our goal is to be able to provide these cards and additional printed materials to numerous business organizations, schools and community organizations throughout Arizona at no cost, to ensure that everyone has immediate access to information, to assist in a time of crisis.

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