The article "Two faces of Utah: Healthy but mentally ill" (Tribune, March 17) contained one error (Arkansas 20.89 percent serious mental illness; should be 5.07 percent), but missed the point on correlation.
Of the 32 states with more than the national average of 3.97 percent serious mental illness, only seven states (Washington, Vermont, Oregon, Maine, Rhode Island, Colorado, and New Hampshire) have predominantly Democratic state politics; Iowa is mixed; the other 24 are Republican.
The 32 states over the national average for serious mental illness include 40.93 percent of the U.S. population and have 46.41 percent of the total U.S. serious mentally ill, with 5.78 percent in the seven big "D" states and 39.62 percent percent in the big "R" states.
Every one of the states with a serious mental illness index greater than the U.S. average also has a conservative rating greater than 65 percent. Utah comes in at 5.14 percent serious mental illness index and an 81.8 percent conservative rating.
Of course this only reflects correlation, but it does make one wonder if conservative Republican politics creates more mentally ill or if it is just that the mentally ill vote more Republicans into office.
Salt Lake City
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