Most States Have Axed Mental Health Funds, Report Finds

Two out of three states have made deep cuts in general fund spending on mental health care in the past two years, Reuters reported March 9.

According to a report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), two-thirds of all states slashed non-Medicaid mental health funding. NAMI examined the budgets of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for its analysis. States that cut the most are: Kentucky (47 percent), Alaska (35 percent) Arizona (23 percent), and South Carolina (23 percent).

“Cutting mental health means that costs only get shifted to emergency rooms, schools, police, local courts, jails and prisons,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, NAMI’s director. “The taxpayer still pays the bill.”

A few states bucked the trend by increasing spending on mental health over the same time period, including Oregon (23 percent), North Carolina (21 percent), and Rhode Island (7 percent).

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