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Wyoming and Idaho Neighbors, Let's Talk Mental Health in Our Communities

Hey neighbors,

Let's talk openly about something crucial to our communities: mental health. Across the nation, an estimated 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness in a given year [1]. That's a staggering number, but here in Wyoming and Idaho, we face an even steeper climb.

The statistics paint a concerning picture. Wyoming ranks dead last, 50th in the nation, for adult mental health, with Idaho following close behind at 39th [2]. When it comes to depression, a common mental illness, Wyoming residents are significantly more likely to be diagnosed compared to the national average. In 2022, 22.1% of adults in Wyoming reported ever being told by a healthcare professional that they have a depressive disorder, compared to the national average of 18.1% [3]. Anxiety disorders, another prevalent mental health concern, are likely just as widespread.

But the most alarming statistic of all? Suicide. Sadly, Wyoming leads the entire country in suicide rates, with a staggering 33.0 per 100,000 people in 2020. This is more than double the national average of 14.0 [4]. While Idaho's rate isn't the highest, it still sits above the national average at 20.5 per 100,000 [4]. These are our neighbors, our friends, our families.

Especially Vulnerable Populations:

These struggles aren't evenly distributed. Some folks face even greater challenges:

  • Young People: Nationally, rates of mental health struggles are on the rise among teenagers and young adults. This trend is likely mirrored in our communities.
  • Rural Communities: Limited access to mental health professionals in Wyoming and Idaho creates significant barriers to seeking help, further impacting mental health outcomes.
  • Veterans: The stress and trauma of military service can increase the risk of mental health conditions like PTSD and depression.
  • LGBTQ+ Community: Stigma and discrimination can contribute to higher rates of mental health problems in this population.
  • People with Severe Mental Illness (SMI): SMI refers to mental health conditions that can significantly impact a person's daily life. While national data is limited, Wyoming and Idaho likely have higher proportions of individuals who struggle with SMI due to limited access to treatment and resources.

Hope for Our Communities:

You don't have to face these challenges alone, though. HCBH, a local non-profit, is right here in your community offering counseling, therapy, and other services to folks of all ages and backgrounds. We understand the unique challenges we face in Wyoming and Idaho, and we're here to help.

What Can We Do as Neighbors?

  • Open Up the Conversation: Let's break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Talk openly with your friends, family, and neighbors. Let them know it's okay to not be okay, and that seeking help is a sign of strength.
  • Look Out for Each Other: We all have bad days, but if someone seems withdrawn or down for a long time, reach out. A listening ear and a friendly face can make a world of difference. You can even take it a step further by offering to hold someone’s firearms until they feel more like themselves.
  • Spread Awareness of Local Resources: Our low mental health rankings suggest a lack of resources, including mental health professionals, to adequately serve the population. Organizations like HCBH rely heavily on community support to bring awareness of essential behavioral health services to those who need them.

Here at HCBH, we believe a happy and healthy community starts with healthy minds. By working together, we can create a space where mental health is a priority, and everyone has access to the support they need to thrive. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to HCBH or another mental health professional for support. 

And, if you are interested in learning more about the mental health crisis in Wyoming, we highly recommend checking out Wyoming PBS' video series; A State of Mind: Confronting Our Mental Health Crisis in Wyoming.


Related Articles and Resources

Local Resources for Parents of Suicidal Teens

Hispanic/Latinx Mental Health Resources

Domestic Violence Awareness and Resources

Senior Mental Health: Concerns, Illness, and Resources

Understanding Child Mental Illness: Recognizing Signs and Seeking Help

Cultivating Mental Health

Normalizing Conversations About Mental Health


National Mental Health Resources:

Government Agencies:

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
    • Provides science-backed information about mental health conditions, treatments, and research.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
    • Offers resources for finding treatment, mental health awareness campaigns, and support for substance use disorders.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: - Call or text 988
    • Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

Non-Profit Organizations:

    • A US government website providing information and resources for mental health.
  •'s MentalHealthTxt: Text HOME to 741741
    • Free crisis text line for confidential support from a trained crisis counselor.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
    • The largest grassroots mental health organization in the US, offering support groups, education, and advocacy.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):
    • Provides information and resources for anxiety disorders and depression.
  • The Jed Foundation:
    • Focuses on mental health resources and suicide prevention for teens and young adults.
  • The Trevor Project:
    • Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

Additional Resources:

Remember, you are not alone. Help is available.



[1] National Institute of Mental Health: [2] Mental Health America: [3] America's Health Rankings: [4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

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