There are so many people in this country who suffer from mental health issues that it seems we have what amounts to an epidemic on our hands.

So you may wonder, how does New Jersey fare when it comes to providing resources for those with mental health issues?

Especially when comparing us to the rest of the country. Well, it turns out New Jersey does pretty well.

SEE MORE: NJ hidden treasure is highest spot on eastern seaboard

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According to a report on stacker a prominent academic psychologist published an article in 2011 that shed light on "the person power problem" in mental health. There are far too many people in need of mental health services and far too few professionals available to provide those services.

Reports show that, more than a decade later, the problem continues—nearly a third of the U.S. population lives in a mental health professional shortage area, according to the Health Resources Service Administrators.

In the states with the greatest shortages, less than 11% (on average) of the population's mental health needs are being met. Arizona, Delaware, and Alaska are among the states most affected by these shortages.

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On the other hand, in the states faring best, about 60% (on average) of the population's mental health needs are being met.

Thankfully we’re in that group. When it comes to providing mental health access, we lead the country along with Rhode Island and Utah. And shortages usually mean a lack of availability of psychiatrists. it turns out that not that many people are going into the field of psychiatry.

According to the reports, estimates from the HRSA indicate there will be a shortage of between 6,080 and 15,400 psychiatrists in 2025.

Likely hundreds to thousands more psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors are necessary, as well.

Mental health needs are only increasing, with over 20% of American adults living with some mental illness. The inability to meet their needs is becoming a matter of life and death.

The report cites provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control that shows that the number of suicide deaths last year was the highest ever recorded—exceeding the previous record by over 1,000 deaths.

If you are in need of support, please reach out to your local mental healthcare professional. And consider yourself lucky that you live in New Jersey where there is plenty of help around.

NJ schools that made the most calls to police

These are the 30 schools in New Jersey that made the most notifications to police during the 2022-23 school year for reasons including violence, weapons, vandalism, substances and harassment or bullying. The number of arrests made by police at the schools is also provided when applicable. The schools are listed by number of police calls from least to greatest. The data comes from the state Department of Education's annual School Performance Report.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

NJ schools with the worst attendance problems

These 30 schools had the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the 2022-23 school year. Data is for the New Jersey Department of Education's annual NJ School Performance Reports.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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