25 Best States for Your Family's Mental Health
Where you live can significantly impact your family’s mental health, according to new research released by ZenCare in 2022. The company, which connects patients with psychiatrists, worked with psychiatrists and counselors to uncover environmental factors that could harm us.
Combining metrics around mental health, opportunity, cost of living, divorce rates, graduation rates, hospitality availability, diversity, and state and national park coverage, it ranked every state to determine which of the 50 states is best for your family’s mental health.
Where you live matters, and these 25 states provide the best metrics for a healthy family.
Mental health care: 42
Cost of living: 4
Divorce rate: 34
Graduation rate: 27
* State data comes from ZenCare’s 2022 study on family mental health, with a lower score being better than a higher one.
Why Missouri Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
From its low cost of living to a high opportunities rating, Missouri kicks off this list as one that has families and their mental health in mind. Cost of living, which includes housing prices, transportation and health care, are factored into this list since a lower cost of living can translate into more affordable mental health care costs.
This means families are more apt to seek care for all ages.
Mental health care: 37
Cost of living: 12
Divorce rate: 30
Graduation rate: 31
Why Indiana Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
This Midwestern state didn't rank in the top 25 for diversity, graduation rankings and availability of state and national parks, but what set Indiana over the edge to appear on this list is its opportunity ranking.
This dataset is a total of the state’s affordability, economic opportunity, and gender and race parity — all of which are better than most states in the country.
Mental health care: 31
Cost of living: 8
Divorce rate: 18
Graduation rate: 21
Why Kansas Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Like other Midwestern states on this list, Kansas may not have top overall mental health ratings.
But its low cost of living and better-than-average divorce rates and opportunities make it a solid place to live with your children.
Mental health care: 29
Cost of living: 6
Divorce rate: 38
Graduation rate: 33
Why Tennessee Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
This affordable Southern state gets kudos for its cost of living index. ZenCare’s review of its housing prices, transportation and health care all proved beneficial for families.
In fact, Tennessee lands in the top 10 lowest costs of living states in the 2022 World Population Review report. With more money in your pocket, you’re more likely to have a family that's less stressed.
19. Texas (Tie)
Mental health care: 27
Cost of living: 18
Divorce rate: 23
Graduation rate: 49
Why Texas Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Diversity is strong in Texas, which ZenCare cites as a positive for mental health. With a lower risk of bullying due to differences, your children are less likely to feel depressed. Plus, they are learning about different races and cultures to grow up more accepting as adults.
On the flip side, more diversity also means doctors and medical professionals are more likely to understand the needs of patients who are unlike themselves.
19. North Carolina (Tie)
Mental health care: 33
Cost of living: 22
Divorce rate: 19
Graduation rate: 36
Why North Carolina Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
North Carolina’s ratings may not highlight one area over another as particularly great, but U.S. News ranked seven of its cities on its list of Best Places to Live in 2021.
Raleigh and Durham even landed as No. 2 for the entire country, and future job growth for the area is predicted to grow more than 44 percent — nearly 10 percent above the national average.
19. Delaware (Tie)
Mental health care: 12
Cost of living: 35
Divorce rate: 15
Graduation rate: 28
Why Delaware Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
At only 1,954 miles in size, this small state is also middle of the road in its data.
The cost of living isn’t such a joy, but its suburban life, low crime rates, plentiful coastline and strong collection of private schools are alluring to families in the Northeast.
Mental health care: 30
Cost of living: 26
Divorce rate: 41
Graduation rate: 37
Why Florida Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Florida's low cost of living, lack of income tax and year-round warm weather have made it the No. 1 retirement state for decades. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it also has more hospital availability than 47 other states in America.
Retirees aren’t the only ones benefiting either: More than two-dozen children’s hospitals are available and listed on U.S. News & World Report’s list, with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in retirement-haven Saint Petersburg landing at No. 1 in the state.
16. Iowa (Tie)
Mental health care: 24
Cost of living: 13
Divorce rate: 17
Graduation rate: 12
Why Iowa Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Think Iowa is just a farmland state? Think again. It ranks No. 1 in the country for its ample opportunities.
Some credit the pandemic for sending families leaving behind cities for less crowded — and less expensive — locations as remote work became the norm. The state’s decade-long job growth is expected to show an 11.2 percent increase by the end of 2022.
16. Connecticut (Tie)
Mental health care: 5
Cost of living: 43
Divorce rate: 14
Graduation rate: 23
Why Connecticut Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Mental health is important to the people of this New England state. As one of the best states for mental health care, it also received kudos from ZenCare for its plethora of state and national parks, encouraging residents to enjoy the small state’s Great Outdoor areas, including mountains and coastline.
After all, studies have repeatedly shown that time outdoors can boost mental health.
Mental health care: 26
Cost of living: 49
Divorce rate: 1
Graduation rate: 50
Why California Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Anyone who has traveled to California is well aware of its state and national park coverage, which lands the state third out of the 50 states. But it also happens to be the No. 1 state for having the lowest divorce rates and diversity. It also makes the cut by being the second-best state for hospital availability.
Still, its cost of living and graduation rates fall to the bottom and shouldn’t be ignored.
Mental health care: 14
Cost of living: 14
Divorce rate: 37
Graduation rate: 25
Why Ohio Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Ohio may be an oft-overlooked Midwestern state, but ZenCare ranks it high for opportunities while providing a lower cost of living.
Technically, the state’s unemployment and labor force participation rates are below the national average, but at the start of 2022, a report found the former to drop 0.2 percent and the latter to climb to 61.5 percent. Hopefully, the trend continues.
13. New York
Mental health care: 7
Cost of living: 48
Divorce rate: 4
Graduation rate: 39
Why New York Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
New York is home to world-class health care, which explains why it lands in the top 10 for mental health. In fact, two of the nation’s top 10 hospitals can be found in New York City.
Perhaps surprising to some, the state’s divorce rates are also low. Within ZenCare’s full data review, New York is one of four states that appear favorably again and again.
Mental health care: 21
Cost of living: 15
Divorce rate: 10
Graduation rate: 18
Why Nebraska Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
A state good enough for one of the world’s richest men to spend his entire lifetime, Nebraska is a solidly strong state for families. The Cornhuskers have more than corn. Residents enjoy a lower cost of living and divorce rate and a higher graduation rate and opportunities ranking.
U.S. News also ranked the state 10th for opportunity and ninth for education.
Mental health care: 22
Cost of living: 30
Divorce rate: 13
Graduation rate: 24
Why Virginia Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Virginia has consecutively been named the best state for business the last two years in a row by CNBC, citing a strong workforce and education system.
Plus, U.S. News placed the state in its top 10 of the nation, also crediting its opportunity and education.
Mental health care: 28
Cost of living: 9
Divorce rate: 16
Graduation rate: 41
Why Georgia Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
As inflation grips the country, living in a state with a low cost of living can help families ward off some financial stress. And Georgia has you covered with rates 3 to 7 percent lower than the national average.
Depending on the city you choose, that number can be even lower. Macon, for example, is 14.8 percent below the national average.
Mental health care: 4
Cost of living: 46
Divorce rate: 8
Graduation rate: 20
Why Massachusetts Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
A New England state filled with some of the country’s best colleges and universities, Massachusetts lands in the top 10 states for mental health care. Not only are its residents working hard to fill their minds with knowledge, but they're also ensuring they take care of the mind in all of its aspects.
Plus, the state often finds itself ranked highly as one of the best states to raise a family, including in a recent report by U.S. News.
7. Maryland (Tie)
Mental health care: 6
Cost of living: 44
Divorce rate: 7
Graduation rate: 28
Why Maryland Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Divorce can be emotionally and financially draining on families, so Maryland’s lower rate may be attributed to better health for its families.
ZenCare isn’t the only one taking note of the mental health stats of the state either. Mental Health America (MHA) found it to have some of the lowest prevalence of mental illness for both adults and youth.
7. Hawaii (Tie)
Mental health care: 11
Cost of living: 50
Divorce rate: 2
Graduation rate: 13
Why Hawaii Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
How can paradise not be good for your family’s health? Hawaii’s lush landscape bordering on blue oceans and bays is what we all crave for in a vacation, so imagine life living there year-round! It takes thehighest honors for its state and national park coverage.
This romantic vacation destination is also low on divorces. Love must be in the air.
Mental health care: 8
Cost of living: 25
Divorce rate: 24
Graduation rate: 9
Why Wisconsin Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Wisconsin ranked as one of the highest on this list for best graduation rates. All of those future graduates will need jobs and, thankfully, the state is the land of opportunity.
With the exception of 2001 and 2007 to 2009 recessions, Wisconsin’s employment has been rising since 1990.
Mental health care: 9
Cost of living: 31
Divorce rate: 9
Graduation rate: 6
Why Minnesota Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Just behind Iowa for having the most opportunities for its families, Minnesota is shaking off its farmland image and growing more jobs. It ended 2021 dropping its unemployment levels back to pre-pandemic rates.
And don’t forget: Minnesota is home to the nation’s No. 1 hospital, the Mayo Clinic. Plus, those 10,000 lakes do wonders for the outdoor enthusiast.
Mental health care: 18
Cost of living: 7
Divorce rate: 32
Graduation rate: 19
Why Michigan Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Although Detroit has made news for lack of opportunities and work, that’s not the case for the entire state. By the end of 2022, employment in the state is expected to have increased by 8.7 percent from where it stood a decade ago.
State and national park coverage and hospital availability are also high for Michigan, but the low cost of living clinches its top spot on this list.
Mental health care: 3
Cost of living: 32
Divorce rate: 12
Graduation rate: 16
Why Pennsylvania Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Perhaps you think of the Keystone State for its role in the Independence of America, but it happens to be the third best state for its mental health care and fifth for hospital availability. When it comes to your health, Pennsylvania has you covered.
ZenCare also found low cost of living and low income tax as a draw for families.
Mental health care: 15
Cost of living: 21
Divorce rate: 6
Graduation rate: 32
Why Illinois Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
From its cities to its rural farmland, Illinois is a large state that has it all.
Its low divorce rate combined with its access to national and state parks and hospitals were enough to outweigh its lower graduation rate.
1. New Jersey
Mental health care: 2
Cost of living: 42
Divorce rate: 3
Graduation rate: 26
Why New Jersey Is Good for Your Family's Mental Health
Jersey may be treated like the stepbrother to neighboring New York, but it’s better for families and happens to top this list. From its No. 2 ranking for mental health care to its low divorce rates and diversity, New Jersey could rest on these laurels alone.
But no! It’s also in the nation’s top five for state and national park coverage. It’s not called the Garden State for nothing.