A new study finds that Montanans who reported feeling “frequent mental health distress” increased 40% between 2014 and 2019.

The finding, part of United Health Foundation’s annual “America’s Health Rankings” report, aligns with nationwide trends, which show that the percentage of adults who reported their mental health was “not good” 14 or more days in the past 30 days — increased by 11% nationally from 2018 to 2019 alone.

This is an increase of nearly 1.3 million adults. 

The study’s findings further highlight the importance of behavioral health support resources such as mental health professionals for Montanans, especially as many locals are challenged with feelings of anxiety and depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report, which evaluates a state’s health based on factors including social, economic, physical and clinical factors, found that while more Montanans are reporting mental health concerns, there was also a 34% increase in their rate of exercise between 2017 and 2019, with 28.3% of adults reporting they meet recommended physical activity guidelines, up from 21.1% in 2017.

For more information about the study and Montana’s results, click here