America’s Health Rankings Reveals Continued Youth Mental Health Crisis

October 12, 2022 | 5 min Read


To address sharp increases in youth mental health revealed by the 2022 America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report, the United Health Foundation has committed $3 million to Active Minds. The funding will enable a pilot program in 50 school districts across Minnesota, North Carolina and Florida to better address youth mental health at the middle school level. 

With 19 years of impact, and a presence at more than 1,000 campuses, schools, communities and workplaces nationwide, Active Minds – a leading nonprofit organization promoting mental health awareness and education for young adults – is reducing the stigma around mental health, creating communities of support and saving lives. 


America’s Health Rankings 2022 Health of Women and Children Report

Produced by the United Health Foundation, the Health of Women & Children Report provides a comprehensive look at the health of America’s 58.4 million women of reproductive age (18-44) and 72.8 million children across the nation and on a state-by-state basis. The 6th edition of this report highlights the multidimensional nature of the health and well-being of these populations, revealing that America’s women and children face a variety of challenges and barriers to well-being — including employment, education, neighborhood and family situation, mental and behavioral health.



Key findings

The Health of Women and Children Report shows that rates of mental and behavioral health challenges have increased broadly among women and children across the nation in recent years. These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which further underscored long-standing disparities and inequities.

Mental and behavioral health challenges

Other Key Findings

There was a 21 percent mortality rate increase among women between 2019 to 2020, from 97.2 to 117.3 deaths per 100,000 women ages 20 to 44. Significantly impacting women of color, increasing 41 percent among American Indian and Alaska Native women, 31 percent among Black women and 28 percent among Hispanic women.



Unemployment among the female civilian workforce hit a record high, increasing 131% between 2019- and 2020, while several markers of health related to children’s neighborhoods and home environments worsened.

State Rankings

Minnesota was the healthiest state for women and children, followed by Massachusetts (No. 2), Vermont (No. 3), New Jersey (No. 4) and Utah (No. 5). Louisiana had the most opportunity to improve, followed by Arkansas (No. 49), Mississippi (No. 48), Oklahoma (No. 47) and Alabama (No. 46).


“The comprehensive data provided by America’s Health Rankings helps all of us to prioritize urgent needs, just like our own Foundation is doing today by focusing on youth mental health. Our young people are the future of healthy, strong communities. We look forward to helping youth gain skills to help counter the alarming increases we are seeing in youth mental health. We must work together to expand evidence-based solutions to help our young people thrive."

Dr. Rhonda Randall | chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual and advisor to America’s Health Rankings

How we’re making an impact

UnitedHealth Group and America’s Health Rankings

For more than 30 years, UnitedHealth Group has used findings from America’s Health Rankings reports, along with additional data and insights from the organization’s 330,000 team members, to devise and deliver targeted, meaningful solutions that address America’s health disparities — in health care, insurance, clinical expertise and financial support. UnitedHealth Group partners with national and local organizations, government agencies, experts and lawmakers to further improve and better target these solutions, and help all people live healthier lives.

About the United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. The United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, the United Health Foundation has committed more than $700 million to programs and communities around the world. To learn more, visit


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Explore UnitedHealth Group’s annual Sustainability Report to learn more about our efforts to address health disparities and advance health equity.