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Mental Health Spending By State Across the US

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 5 adults in the United States live with a mental illness.1  Various factors can contribute to the risk of mental illness, such as adverse childhood experiences, genetics, and substance use.1 But while millions of people struggle with mental illness, not everyone gets the help they need. 

The allocated budget for mental health spending by state varies, with some states having significantly more fiscal resources. Many states have recently increased spending to combat the mental health crisis, with some even doubling their funding.

To explore US mental health spending, we broke down total mental health spending by state, per capita, and per client in each state. Additionally, we looked at the percentage of the population served by mental health agencies in each state.  

The Total Amount of State Mental Health Agency Expenditures in Every State

Mental Health Agency Expenditures By State

States with the highest amount of mental health expenditures:

  • California: $6,762,808,997 
  • New York: $4,952,100,000

States with more than $1 billion in mental health expenditures:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • Texas
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • Minnesota

Looking at the total amount of state mental health expenditures in each state, California has the highest amount with $6,762,808,997 dedicated to mental health spending. The state with the second highest mental health expenditures is New York, with almost 2 billion dollars less allocated than California: $4,952,100,000. Other states with over $1 billion allocated toward mental health include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, and Minnesota. This list of states consists of several populations and sizes, showing that the total amount of spending by state isn’t necessarily dependent on the size of the state.

States with the lowest mental health expenditures:

  • Delaware
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho

The 5 states with the lowest total amounts of state mental health expenditures all have less than $100 million dedicated toward mental health spending. These states are Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho. Idaho has the lowest total amount of state mental health expenditures with $59,200,000 annually.

The Total Amount of State Mental Health Agency Expenditures per Capita in Every State

Mental Health Agency Expenditures Per Capita

States with the highest mental health expenditures per capita:

  • Maine: $362.75
  • Washington, D.C.: $335.16
  • Vermont: $324.28

Next, we looked at government spending on mental health expenditures per capita. Interestingly the states with the highest and lowest amounts varied from what we observed in the trends by total. Maine has the highest state mental health agency expenditures per capita in the U.S., with $362.75, followed closely by Washington, D.C., and Vermont with $335.16 and $324.28, respectively. While California had the highest total amount of mental health expenditures, they come in at 14th when looking at the per capita figures.

States with the lowest mental health expenditures per capita:

  • Florida: $36.05

The state with the lowest amount of per capita mental health spending is Florida with $36.05 per capita. There is quite a difference between the state with the highest per capita amount and the lowest. Maine spends more than 10 times more per capita on mental health spending than Florida.

The Total Amount of State Mental Health Agency Expenditures per Client in Every State

Mental Health Agency Expenditures Per Client

States with the highest amount of annual per-client mental health expenditures:

  • Hawaii: $14,779
  • Alaska: $10,165
  • California: $9,718

Next, we explored the amount of mental health expenditures by client in each state, which specifically looks at the number of individuals served by state mental health agencies. Hawaii has the highest amount of per-client mental health expenditures in the U.S., spending an average of $14,779 per client annually. Hawaii is followed by Alaska and California, which spend $10,165 and $9,718, respectively.

States with the lowest amount of annual per-client mental health expenditures:

  • Florida: $3,083
  • Kentucky: $1,641

The state with the lowest amount of per-client mental health expenditures, Kentucky, spends a fraction of what Hawaii does on each client. Kentucky spends an average of only $1,641 per client. Florida had the lowest amount of per capita spending, and they also rate low when it comes to per-client numbers, spending an average of $3,083 per client, more than only 7 other states. Note, the per-client spending information was not available for government funding for mental health in Massachusetts so it was not included in this portion of the analysis.

The Percentage of Each State’s Population Served by Mental Health Agency Expenditures

Percent of population by state served by Mental Health Expenditures

States with the highest percentage of the population served by mental health expenditures:

  • Maine: 5.13%
  • Pennsylvania: >4%
  • Kansas: >4%
  • New Mexico: >4%

Lastly, we examined the percentage of each state’s population that is served by mental health expenditures. With 5.13% of its population served, Maine has the highest percentage of the population served by mental health expenditures. Interestingly, Maine also has the highest amount of state mental health agency expenditures per capita. Pennsylvania, Kansas, and New Mexico also serve over 4% of their population with mental health expenditures.

States with the highest percentage of the population served by mental health expenditures:

  • Hawaii: 0.93%
  • Idaho: 0.87%
  • Massachusetts: 0.48%

The states with the lowest percentage of population served by mental health expenditures are Hawaii (0.93%), Idaho (0.87%), and Massachusetts (0.48%), all serving less than 1% of their state’s population.

Start Your Recovery Today

No matter what state you live in, if you or someone you know needs support or treatment for mental health issues there are resources out there to help. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. AAC has facilities throughout the US offering the full continuum of care including medical detox, inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare services. We work with top insurance providers to help you get the care you need and offer resources for those you may not have insurance. 

If you’re ready to learn more, contact AAC at 24/7. Our admissions navigators can hear your story, discuss treatment options and health insurance coverage for addiction treatment, and more. Calling is confidential and free, and there is no obligation to enter treatment. 

 

 

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