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Matters of Fact - Illinois
April 2005

Key facts and core statistics about the impact of untreated mental illness on the state of Illinois

  • Over 700,000 of Illinois’s adult residents have a severe mental illness. An estimated 240,000 Illinois Children and Adolescents have a severe emotional disturbance. (U.S. Census 2000; U.S. Center for Mental Health Services)
  • The Illinois Department of Corrections conservatively estimates that 16 percent of inmates suffer from mental illness, four or five times higher than rates of mental illness among the general population. Experts agree that these estimates are routinely low as correctional facilities do not have the capacity for assessment and diagnosis. (Illinois Department of Corrections)
  • An estimated 720,000 Illinois residents have been homeless at some point. Statistically, 140,000 of these individuals suffer from a severe mental illness. (Illinois "It Takes a Home Campaign"; U.S. Center for Mental Health Services)
  • 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)
  • Family education programs, such as NAMI Illinois’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. NAMI Illinois graduates an estimated 400 individuals annually in Family to Family. (PORT report, National Institute of Mental Health, 1995; NAMI Illinois)
  • A significant majority of emergency physicians report (including respondents from Illinois State) 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)

Additional Facts of Importance

  • For every $1 spent on mental health services, $5 is saved in overall healthcare costs. (American Psychological Association)
  • Crisis Intervention Teams, a law enforcement model designed to safely manage interactions between peace officers and persons living with a severe mental illness, have reduced officer related injuries by 85% since the programs inception in Memphis, TN. (Memphis Police Department)
  • The state of California documented saving $2 in hospital and jail costs for every $1 spent on mental health services. (NAMI California)
  • In Oklahoma, investment in evidence based practices such as the Program for Assertive Community Treatment saves money and contributes to recovery. Recent data suggests that PACT reduced hospitalization by 90% and transitions many participants with serious and persistent mental illness transition into independent housing. (Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services)

More on the Campaign for the Mind of America in Illinois

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