Washington, D.C. -- The nation's mental health crisis is continuing to deepen as a result of state budget cuts and shifts of funds to Medicaid, according to a special report released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Examining budgets approved for 2012 by state legislatures around the country, the report documents a total of $1.6 billion in cuts by individual states from fiscal years (FY) 2009 to 2012.
The 10 states with the greatest proportion of cuts in mental health care from FY2009 to 2012 are:
See the full report for state by state data.
Even states that struggled to restore previous levels of mental health spending were unable to compensate for damage already done and to prepare for challenges that lie ahead.
"The mental health crisis is not just about state budge cuts. It also involves Medicaid," said NAMI Executive Director Mike Fitzpatrick.
"People with life-threatening mental illness are being abandoned," Fitzpatrick said.
"The more that mental health care is provided through Medicaid, the greater the risk exists that uninsured or underinsured individuals won't receive the help they need."
"It is important to meet the needs of Medicaid enrollees, but not at the expense of uninsured or underinsured individuals living with serious mental illness."
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness.