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Matters of Fact – Ohio

April 2005

  • Nearly half a million of Ohio’s over 11.4 million residents have a severe mental illness. In the year 2000, the estimated number of people age 18 or older with a serious mental disorder living in Ohio (excluding homeless people or people in institutions) was over 170,000. (U.S. Census 2000; U.S. Center for Mental Health Services)
  • Corrections officers in Ohio jails report that 19 percent of inmates suffer from mental illness, four or five times higher than rates of mental illness among the general population. (Corrections Compendium, September/October, 1994)
  • It is estimated that each inmate costs the state on average $20,100 per year. It costs the state over $7,000 per month per child for juvenile detention. It is estimated that costs for the care of children with mental illness would be reduced by 40% through integrated care approaches. (President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003)
  • Limiting the number of prescriptions covered under Medicaid per month or limiting the number of physician visits would have a harsh impact on people with mental illness who will thus require more costly care. (Miller, JE, Drug Benefit Trends, 2003)
  • Family education programs, such as NAMI Ohio’s Family to Family program, reduce patient relapses by more than 50% and are cited as one of the two non-medication approaches most likely to succeed. Currently 2% of families living with mental illness in Ohio participate annually in Family to Family. (PORT report, National Institute of Mental Health, 1995; TDMHDD 2004)
  • Sixty percent of emergency physicians report that the upsurge in people with mental illness seeking treatment in community emergency departments is negatively affecting patient care, causing longer wait times, and affecting everyone’s access to lifesaving treatment. Two-thirds of these physicians attribute the recent escalation to state health care budget cutbacks and the decreasing number of psychiatric beds for people living with mental illness who are in crisis. (American College of Emergency Physicians, national survey, April 2004)


  • Community mental health programs providing voluntary outreach, unrestricted access to medicines and a variety of support services were launched through AS 34 (Steinberg, 1999) provided an initial investment of $10 million that saved the state $20 million in reduced hospitalization and incarceration in the first year. (California)
  • In Oklahoma, investment in evidence based practices such as the Program for Assertive Community Treatment has saved money and contributed to recovery. Recent data from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services suggests that PACT can reduce hospitalization days up to 90% and transition many participants to an independent housing situation. (Oklahoma)
  • As a result of every dollar saved by reducing the budget on medication for patients in Medicaid with schizophrenia in New Hampshire, $17 was spend on emergency services to those patients as a consequence. (New Hampshire)


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